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13 November 2014

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You are in: Nottingham > History > Local history > Notts teasures: DH Lawrence's headstone

Detail of DH Lawrence headstone

Notts teasures: DH Lawrence's headstone

The story behind Nottinghamshire writer DH Lawrence's headstone.

On the 6 February 1930, a seriously ill Lawrence was admitted to Ad Astra (To the Stars) Sanatorium in Vence, South France.

Lawrence didn't want to die there so his wife Frieda rented a house called Villa Robermonda in Vence on 1 March.

He died the next day.

His burial and headstone

DH Lawrence was buried in the cemetery at Vence on 4 March 1930.

His headstone, a phoenix made from pebbles, was designed by Dominique Matteucci. Frieda commissioned two artists to make it.

Jackie Greaves works for DH Lawrence Heritage. She says the design was personal to Lawrence.

"The phoenix was Lawrence's emblem... if you come to Eastwood you would see the phoenix everywhere."

The headstone was removed in 1935 when Frieda had Lawrence exhumed and cremated.

DH Lawrence headstone

It was brought to England by Mrs Gordon-Crotch, a friend of Frieda's, who ran a pottery shop in Vence.

She passed it onto Professor Pinto at Nottingham University who in turn gave it to Eastwood Town Council in April 1957.

When the new library was opened in Eastwood in 1975 the headstone was put on display there.

In 2008 the library had a refurbishment and the gravestone was given to DH Lawrence Heritage.

last updated: 13/05/2009 at 17:56
created: 24/03/2009

You are in: Nottingham > History > Local history > Notts teasures: DH Lawrence's headstone

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