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Lady Chatterley’s cover

Lady Chatterley’s cover

The planned publication by Penguin Books in 1960 of the unexpurgated version of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover brought about the much publicised and ultimately unsuccessful prosecution of Penguin Books under the Obscene Publications Act. Following the “not guilty” verdict, sales of the Penguin edition of the novel rocketed, with two million copies selling before the end of 1960 and a further 1 ¼ million in the following year. Since 1960 the novel has been reprinted many times. A selection of some of the Penguin editions of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, taken from the Penguin Archive, are shown here in chronological order, beginning with the rather discrete Phoenix cover of the 1960 edition designed by Stephen Russ and ending with the unambiguous cartoon cover of the 2006 deluxe edition designed by Chester Brown. The Penguin Archive also includes the Lady Chatterley’s Lover trial case notes of Michael Rubinstein, Penguin’s Defence solicitor in the 1960 trial of Regina vs. Penguin Books Ltd. On 2 July 2009 the Penguin Archive Project at Bristol University will be hosting a half-day conference entitled ‘Lady Chatterley and Her Consequences’, with keynote speakers Dr Fiona Becket (University of Leeds) and Professor Alistair McCleery (Edinburgh Napier University).