Document ReferenceLa C 114/2
TitleProse autograph notes by D.H. Lawrence concerning Mollie Skinner, entitled 'Note on Miss M.L. Skinner', written on two postcards; 1924
Extent2 ff
Content DescriptionLawrence describes his first meeting with Mollie Skinner [Mary Louisa Skinner] during his travels in Perth, Western Australia, and how he came to collaborate with her on 'The Boy in the Bush' (1924). Describes her appearance, and her background as a volunteer nurse during the First World War. States that Skinner lent him a book she had written, 'Letters from a V.A.D.', and also allowed him to read a manuscript she was working on. Reports that they subsequently left Australia and about a year later, whilst they were in Chapala, she sent him the manuscript of 'The House of Ellis' which later became 'The Boy in the Bush'. She was unable to get it published, so that autumn during a stay in Los Angeles and Guadalajara, he re-wrote it. Provides brief details of the changes he made to the novel.

Goes on to describe a visit to Mollie's mother and brother in Darlington, Western Australia. Provides details of her brother's war injury and financial misfortunes. Finally states that Mollie Skinner came to London last July with a manuscript entitled 'Black Swans', being a rewritten version of the first manuscript she allowed him to read, which is currently being considered for publication. She is currently staying with a cousin until ready to go home to Western Australia.

Note that the hero of 'The Boy in the Bush' (1924), Jack Grant, was based on Mollie Skinner's brother, and the character Jack Callcott in Kangaroo probably owes something to him too.

These manuscript notes were sent to Lawrence's sister-in-law, Else Jaffe, via her mother Anna von Richthofen for use in the Preface of her German translation of the book, 'Jack im Buschland' (1925). A German translation of the note appears in the book, but the note wasn't published in the original English until inclusion in the Cambridge University Press edition of 'The Works of D.H. Lawrence' (1990).

The notes are written on two real photo postcards, both photographs contain scenes from Mexico, one being of oxen carts outside a Mexican building, and the other a plough being pulled by oxen.
Termpublications, novels, D.H. Lawrence and M.L. Skinner 'The Boy in the Bush'
literature, translations (German)
Publication NoteFirst published as German translation 'Jack im Buschland' (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1925)
First English language publication in Cambridge University Press edition of 'The Works of D.H. Lawrence': Paul Eggert (ed), 'The Boy in the Bush' (Cambridge: C.U.P., 1990), Appendix V, pp.373-374.

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CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA3433Skinner; Mary Louisa (1878-1955); known as 'Mollie'; nurse and writer1878-1955
NA396Jaffe; Else (1874-1973); Mrs; née von Richthofen1874-1973
PL9716/Perth/Western Australia/Australia
PL100053/Darlington/Western Australia/Australia
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