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DH Lawrence postcard mocking ‘hideous’ mining town to go on sale

The postcard is predicted to fetch around £250 at auction at the end of July.

D H Lawrence described the mining town as “a hideous place” (Hansons Auctioneers/PA)
D H Lawrence described the mining town as “a hideous place” (Hansons Auctioneers/PA)

A postcard written by celebrated author DH Lawrence during a visit to a “hideous” mining town is expected to fetch about £250 at auction.

The owner of the handwritten and signed item – sent from Shirebrook in Derbyshire – revealed it was almost thrown in a skip four years ago after her family feared it had been lost.

The postcard, written in 1911, was addressed to a young woman called Nellie Holderness in Eakring near Newark, Nottinghamshire.

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The author sent the postcard to Nellie Holderness from Eakring, Nottinghamshire (Hansons Auctioneers/PA)

The picture on the front of the postcard displays the Old School House and Rock Cottages in Shirebrook.

However, the message to Miss Holderness showed the author was far from impressed with the town, saying: “I have got here but had to bike – not a single train.

“It is an awful fag. Shirebrook is a most hideous place – I contrast it with Eakring.

“Keep well – love to all – DH Lawrence.”

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D H Lawrence penned the postcard in 1911 after visiting the “hideous” mining town (Hansons Auctioneers/PA)

The card’s owner, Patricia Endean-Rowe, 71, a retired teacher from Eakring, said: “It was literally saved at the tip four years ago.

“Our family always knew about the card but thought it’d been lost years ago. My late mother, Ella Walker, couldn’t remember where she’d put it.

“After she passed away, we had to clear her bungalow. A relative was about to throw a plastic box into a skip at Bilsthorpe tip but, just before he did, gave it a shake – and realised something was inside.

“It was the DH Lawrence postcard sent to one of my great aunts more than a century ago.”

Jim Spencer, books expert and associate director at Hansons Auctioneers, said: “This is a wonderful find. Lawrence is one of England’s most famous literary figures whose work created much controversy when first published.

“His impact is still felt today and some of his books, such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover, have been adapted for film and television.

“When you consider he was born in 1885 and died aged only 44 in 1930, that’s quite an achievement.”

The postcard will be sold on July 31 at Hansons’ Library Auction, Bishton Hall, Staffordshire.

PA

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