Lady Chatterley's Lover
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Lady Chatterley's Lover

by D.H. Lawrence

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Cultural influence

In the United States, the free publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover was a significant event in the "sexual revolution". At the time, the book was a topic of widespread discussion and a byword of sorts. In 1965, Tom Lehrer recorded a satirical song entitled "Smut", in which the speaker in the song lyrics cheerfully acknowledges his enjoyment of such material; "Who needs a hobby like tennis or philately?/I've got a hobby: rereading Lady Chatterley."

British poet Philip Larkin's poem "Annus Mirabilis" begins with a reference to the trial:

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) –
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And The Beatles' first LP.

By 1976, the story had become sufficiently safe in Britain to be parodied by Morecambe and Wise; a "play what Ernie wrote", The Handyman and M'Lady, was obviously based on it, with Michele Dotrice as the Lady Chatterley figure. Introducing it, Ernie explained that his play was "about a man who has an accident with a combine harvester, which unfortunately makes him impudent".

In the third Mad Men episode in season 1, "The Marriage of Figaro" (2010), Joan Holloway returns her borrowed copy of the book to one of the other administrative pool members, sparking conversation about its racy themes and the book's commentary about marriage.[21]

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