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Angelo Ravagli and Lady Chatterley's Lover

John Simkin

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In the summer of 1925, D. H. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda stayed in Spotorno. Their landlord was Angelo Ravagli. Frieda began an affair with Ravagli, who later claimed that Lawrence discovered them "flagrante delicto". Lawrence's biographer argued that he responded by having an affair with Dorothy Brett while she was on holiday in Italy. This affair also inspired Lawrence to write Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1926.

The highly explicit sex passages in the book meant that Lawrence was unable to find a publisher for the novel. With the help of the Italian bookseller Pino Orioli, Lady Chatterley's Lover was printed in and distributed from Florence. The book made him so much money that he could now afford to live in expensive hotels.

As Time Magazine pointed out:

"In 1930, after Lawrence succumbed to tuberculosis, Ravagli wrote to Frieda: "I am waiting for you." She came. Ravagli abandoned his wife and three children for Frieda and lived with her for nearly 20 years before they were married in 1950. When Frieda died in 1956, Ravagli inherited one-fourth of her estate, which included accumulating royalties from Lady Chatterley. In 1959 the bans on Lady Chatterley were lifted, and for a time the novel's sales skyrocketed, making Ravagli rich from the book about his adultery."



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