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Burst of applause as the jury clears Lady C; RETRO REPORT NOVEMBER 1960 - How we covered...

Byline: Tony Woolway

APPLAUSE echoed throughout the Old Bailey yesterday after the "Lady Chatterley" jury decided that D H Lawrence's novel can be published in Britain in its original form.

Immediately the verdict was announced - after a three-hour retirement - there was a burst of clapping and calls of delight from women sitting at the rear of the court. It was stifled by shouts of "silence" by ushers.

The nine men and three women of the jury decided that the Penguin Book Company Ltd, were not guilty of publishing an obscene article - an unexpurgated version of the novel.

While the jury were out, the Judge, Mr Justice Byrne, had begun hearing another case. He interrupted this when told the jury were agreed.

Novelists and writers who had been talking in little groups outside the court hurried back to hear the foreman pronounce the words "not guilty."

Penguin Book Co had pleaded not guilty to the charge. Mr Mervyn Griffith-Jones, QC, prosecuting, had submitted that the book is obscene and may corrupt and deprave anyone who reads it.

In his summing-up, which began on Tuesday and lasted two hours and 12 minutes, the judge said the jury had first to consider whether the book was obscene. If they were not satisfied that it was, that was the end of the case. If they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was obscene, they would then have to consider whether the defence had established on the balance of probabilities that "the merits of this book are so high they out-balance the obscenity so that its publication is for the public good."

By next Thursday all Britain will be able to buy Lady Chatterley's Lover for 3s. 6d. on the bookstalls. Within minutes of the verdict, packages of the the unexpurgated book were being dispatched from the Penguin Books works in Middlesex.

Edited by TonyWoolway
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 3, 2011
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