D.H. Lawrence (11 September 1885 - 2 March 1930) was one of the most important, prolific and controversial English writers of the 20th century, whose output spans novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. These works, taken together, represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and instinctive behaviour, making him iconic in an age influenced by Freud and Nietzsche.
Lawrence's unsettling opinions earned him many enemies and he endured hardships, official persecution, censorship and the misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in voluntary exile, self defined as a "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as "the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel. He is now valued as a visionary thinker and a significant representative of modernism in English literature, although some feminists have questioned the attitudes to women and sexuality to be found within his works.