Penguin has donated £10,000 to the crowdfunding campaign to keep a historic copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in the UK.
Earlier this month the Government slapped an export ban on the book, which once belonged to judge Sir Laurence Byrne, who oversaw the landmark 1960 obscenity case. The book was sold at auction in October 2018, but arts minister Michael Ellis has ruled the hand-annotated copy should not be sold overseas. English PEN launched the campaign to save the book as the government appeals for a buyer to pay £56,250 to stop the book leaving the country.
Penguin has now donated £10,000 to the crowdfunder which had already raised more than £7,000. The publisher said it has always championed "quality of writing, creativity, diversity of voice and freedom of expression” in its 84-year history.
“Our decision to publish D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1960 (in the face of a UK-wide ban of the book, sparking a subsequent court case) represents a cornerstone of our commitment to these values. We are delighted to be donating £10,000 to the crowdfunding campaign launched by English PEN – the worldwide writers’ association which promotes freedom of expression – to keep in the UK the original hand-annotated copy of the book which was used by the judge during the trial in 1960.”
English PEN says “this historic artefact is of unique value and should remain in the UK, allowing the British public access to understand what is lost without freedom of expression.”