2 November

'The jury's verdict on Lady Chatterley's Lover is a triumph of common sense - and the more pleasing because it was unexpected.' This was how the Guardian greeted the acquittal of Penguin Books on the charge of obscenity for publishing D H Lawrence's novel.

November 2, 2009 · 1 min read

Following the ‘not guilty’ verdict, which was delivered on 2 November 1960, bookshops were overwhelmed by demand for the novel. Two hundred thousand copies were sold on the first day of publication, 10 November, and two million were sold within the first year.

The verdict broke the back of literary censorship in the UK and ushered in the increasingly liberal legal framework of the 1960s.

See also 20 October: ‘I put my feet up on the desk and start reading. If I get an erection, we prosecute.’


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