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Looking over Lawrence's shoulder: Lawrence in Australia and the creation of Kangaroo.

For Lawrence scholars--and anyone interested in literature, Kangaroo, Lawrence's eighth major novel, presents us with a unique opportunity to see in detail the way a work of art is created. As Richard Aldington so perceptively observed in his Introduction to the Phoenix edition of the novel:

   Although some characters and episodes in the book are imaginary or
   transferred to Australia from elsewhere, much of the writing deals
   with Lawrence's experiences in Australia--with the unique result
   that he was remembering and setting down with extreme accuracy and
   vividness one set of experiences while actually undergoing others,
   themselves designed to be remembered and written as he found new
   ones. [vii]

In other words, what is ostensibly a work of fiction might also be interpreted as a day-to-day account of what Lawrence did in Sydney and Thirroul after he arrived on SS Malwa early Saturday morning, May 27, 1922. It also provides insight into the way the novel he was to write over the next six weeks or so was put together.

Published in the United States and then in the United Kingdom almost eighteen months later, Kangaroo tells the story of an English writer, Richard Lovatt Somers, who arrives in Sydney with his wife Harriett, travels down the coast to a seaside resort (Mullumbimby), and sets up house in a bungalow called Coo-ee, before departing to New Zealand and then America (his voyage across the Pacific to San Francisco is told in an unpublished addendum to the novel). Lawrence makes little effort to disguise the fact that Somers and Harriett are portrayals of himself and Frieda; that Mullumbimby is Thirroul; and that Coo-ee is a cottage by the sea called Wyewurk. Interestingly, however, nowhere in the novel does Lawrence mention what he was actually doing at Thirroul and Wyewurk: writing a novel about Australia. The closest he gets to this, fictionally, is his description of Somers as "a writer of essays," whom he depicts as being offered a writing job while in Australia. It is likely that Lawrence was in fact himself carrying out the advice he had given some weeks earlier to his erstwhile landlady in Perth, Mollie Skinner, who harboured ambitions to be a novelist. "Splash down reality," he advised her. "Write and build up from day to day. ... When you have done 80,000 words, throw down your pen" (qtd. in Pritchard 24).

A day or so before he arrived in Sydney, Lawrence wrote to his literary agent in the United States, Robert Mountsier, telling him that he intended to stay and try to write "a romance" while in Sydney (4L 247). It is now clear, however, that the work he did undertake while in Sydney and Thirroul was some form of fictionalised diary. When he was halfway through writing Kangaroo, he told his fellow writer Catherine Carswell: "Myself I like that letter-diary form" (4L 270). His most recent travel book, Sea and Sardinia (1921), was also written in the form of a diary. So the first ingredient of an attempt to reconstruct the twelve or so weeks, May 31-July 15, that he spent writing Kangaroo is the novel itself, his fictionalised diary.

Any attempt to untangle fact and fiction, however, to say what is autobiographical and what invented, is dogged by our not being certain which is which, a task made all the more difficult in that Lawrence makes no distinction between what is real (the diary aspect) with what might be fiction. Yet some attempt at a reconstruction can now be made by correlating the holograph text and its subsequent revisions with other information derived from a variety of independent, non-fiction sources. For example, in the novel Lawrence mentions such things as the weather, the tides, the state of the sea, phases of the moon, topographical descriptions, train and ferry trips, and so on. It is possible to check these against the actual weather, tides, travel timetables, local geography, etc., and thus begin to attempt to deduce what in the novel actually occurred with Lawrence and what Lawrence made up as part of the novel's fiction. The major source for any reconstruction is, of course, the correlation between the text and what was actually happening around him while he was staying in Sydney and Thirroul, as recorded in various contemporary newspapers and magazines. Such sources provide significant information about the setting of the novel, the way this might have impinged on Lawrence, and the use he made of such factual material, in whole or in part, throughout the novel.

To assist us in this task we also have, most importantly, the 53 surviving letters he wrote during his stay in Australia. Some of these contain factual material about his activities in Sydney and Thirroul that can be correlated with the text of the novel. In addition, Lawrence kept an actual diary during this period, although it unfortunately contains little of use, as it is mostly a record of his comings and goings together with his dealings with his publishers. He also had with him an address book, and this, it turns out, does contain some useful information. Additionally, we have Frieda's account in her autobiographical Not I But the Wind...of their time in Australia. While this should have been very informative, it is, alas, next to useless ("the days slipped by as in a dream" she later recalled, unhelpfully [112]).

More significantly, we have a number of third party accounts by people he met in Sydney and Thirroul, obtained by an early biographer, Edward Nehls, for his 1958 Composite Biography. These add considerably to what we know, or can reliably deduce. Also we have some accounts of what Lawrence and Frieda subsequently told others about their time in Australia, in particular what they told, or might have told, Lawrence's first major biographer, Richard Aldington, who was particularly curious about what had happened to Lawrence in Australia and later made an effort to do some research into the matter.

Finally--and most importantly--we have the fruits of decades of local research into Lawrence's time in Australia. Starting with on-the-spot research by local journalist Tom Fitzgerald, who took a party of literary folk down to Thirroul in the early 1950s and tried to retrace Lawrence movements in Thirroul. Such effort continues into the present, new information about Lawrence's visit still emerging and no doubt yet to emerge. A Melbourne amateur literary historian, John Alexander, made an early attempt to correlate items in contemporary newspapers with what Lawrence wrote, showing, for example, how accurate Lawrence's descriptions were of the weather, etc. In 1968 an Australian political scientist, Don Rawson, pointed out that the political events in Kangaroo were remarkably perceptive. In particular he suggested that the political plot of the novel might have been based on the activities of a local patriotic organisation called the King and Empire Alliance, as well as on an actual riot that occurred in Sydney a year before Lawrence arrived. He even suggested that the main political character in Kangaroo, Benjamin Cooley (the "Kangaroo" of the title), might have been based on the Secretary of the Alliance, Sir Charles Rosenthal. More recently, work by two local Lawrence scholars, Paul Eggert and Bruce Steele, and a local Thirroul historian, Joseph Davis, have added significantly to what we know about Lawrence's stay in Australia. In particular, Steele's 1993 CUP edition of Kangaroo contains much important information about the content and setting of the novel.

With the help of these sources, it is now possible to attempt to construct an account of what Lawrence did during the writing of Kangaroo and so create a picture of the way it came to be written. It allows us almost to look over his shoulder as he writes the text in what appears to be thirty-four separate writing sessions between May 31 and July 15, 1922. A major aid to this effort at reconstruction is that breaks in the holograph can be at least partially deduced from the style or nature of his penmanship. Thus we may reconstruct, with some confidence, what he wrote, day by day. However, a word of caution. There is still much we do not know, much that is still uncertain, and yet more, no doubt, still to be discovered. What follows then is no more than a provisional reconstruction, bringing together for the first time all available material in an attempt to flesh out what happened after Lawrence and Frieda stepped off SS Malwa at about 8 a.m. on May 27, 1922.

SATURDAY, 27/5/22

The Malwa docks at the P&O wharf at Circular Quay about 6:40 a.m. It is drizzling, and a rainbow arches over the low, gray city. Lawrence is probably met at the wharf by David Gerald Hum, a local businessman whom he had met earlier on his voyage from Naples to Colombo; Hum's name is the only Sydney name recorded in his address-book. Hum has probably booked the Lawrences into Mrs Scott's guest-house at 126 Macquarie Street, where Lawrence and Frieda arrive by taxi and are overcharged by the driver. They then settle in. Possibly before lunch, Lawrence goes to Cooks in Martin Place to pick up his forwarded mail and perhaps to inquire about onward travel. After lunch Lawrence and Frieda start exploring the city, probably pausing to watch a march down Macquarie Street by Boy Scouts on their way to a reception at Government House. They stroll down Sussex Street towards the Haymarket, the market and Chinese area of town, possibly to check out the address of the Sydney Trades Hall. (K: "in Sussex Street he almost wept for Covent Garden and St. Martin's Lane" [20]). William Siebenhaar in Perth may have given Lawrence a letter of introduction to the Secretary of the NSW Trades and Labour Council, Jock Garden, whose headquarters is the Trades Hall. They return to their guest-house in Macquarie Street for dinner, where Lawrence may have caught up with his mail.

SUNDAY, 28/5/22

The next day Lawrence and Frieda embark on an excursion across Sydney Harbor to Manly and the northern beaches, probably to investigate accommodation possibilities. They board a ferry at Circular Quay and arrive at Manly wharf before lunch, walking up the Corso to Manly ocean beach. They have some refreshments at a tea-room opposite the beach, where Frieda mislays her scarf. They catch a tram up the coast to the terminus at Narrabeen, buying food and drink for a picnic on Narrabeen ocean beach. They then start walking up Ocean Street towards the entrance of Narrabeen Lagoon, looking at houses on the way. Apparently they have an invitation to afternoon tea at a house at the end of the road. Being early, they spend some time on the sand near the entrance to the lagoon, observing local boys skylarking. (K: "near at hand Somers saw another youth lying on the warm sand-hill in the sun. He had rolled in the dry sand while he was wet, so he was hardly distinguishable. But he lay like an animal on his face in the sun, and again Somers wondered at the thick legs. They seemed to run to leg, these people" [27]). They go to the end-house where they join a number of people who are spending the last day of the school holidays there, including the man who had invited them, Gerald Hum. Possible accommodation--their most pressing need--is discussed, and one of those present mentions that a house has just become vacant in Thirroul, a resort about fifty miles south of Sydney. An offer is made to take them down next day to see it. They are also given a ride back to the city, via Collaroy, the next suburb, where Gerald Hum is staying with his family. They drop off one of the other guests, a man called Jack Scott, in North Sydney before returning to their guest house in Macquarie Street for dinner.

MONDAY 29/5/22

On Monday, Lawrence and Frieda prepare to travel down to see Wyewurk on Craig Street, Thirroul. Late in the morning they take a stroll in the Botanic Gardens, returning to their guest-house for lunch. They attempt to take a taxi to Central Station, but there is a dispute over the fare. Instead, they catch a hansom cab. At Central they rendezvous with the people, members of the Friend family, who told them about Wyewurk. They catch the 2 p.m. train to Thirroul, arriving about 4:30 p.m. They walk from the station towards the sea. One of the Friends, probably Dorothy, goes to a local estate agent to get the key. They decide to rent the bungalow, and Lawrence and Dorothy Friend return to the estate agent to finalise details. They settle in about 5:30 p.m. and spend their first night in Thirroul.

TUESDAY 30/5/22

Most of Tuesday is spent cleaning up Wyewurk, which has not been touched since the previous Saturday when the earlier tenants vacated. ("F is happy... tidying the house" [4L 250]). They do some shopping and arrange for the various deliveries to be made, perhaps helped by several members of the Friend clan (K: "afternoon saw Jack and Somers polishing floors with a stuff called glowax" [94]). Lawrence writes three letters: to his agent Mountsier, his mother-in-law, and a shipboard acquaintance in Perth, Mrs Jenkins. He begins to think about-- and perhaps compose--the novel he intends to write.


Today Lawrence starts writing the first section of the MS text of Kangaroo (session #1, MS pp. 1-9[a], c. 2000 words from the Macquarie Street opening to jogging through town in a hansom cab. Lawrence misnumbers the MS here, creating two "page 9 s). He probably spends the morning doing this, maybe with a short break, i.e. two writing sessions. After lunch, he and Frieda stroll along McCauley's Beach, below Wyewruk, to Sandon Point where a joy-ride plane crash-landed over the weekend. They probably visit Mrs Callcott, the estate agent and sister of owner of Wyewurk (K: "Oh, but these dahlias are really marvellous. You MUST come and look," she sang out to Somers" [16]). There are probable visits to shops and local exploration, maybe also a stop at the railway station to check train times, and they then return to Wyewurk for tea.


Lawrence returns, alone, to Sydney by the early commuter train. He has to arrange for his trunks from the Malwa to be sent down to Thirroul. It is also likely that he has a meeting with Jack Scott at Mosman that morning. On the way from Circular Quay to Mosman Bay he observes a ferry collision (K: "One day their ferry steamer bumped into a collier that was heading for the harbour outlet--or rather, their ferry boat headed across the nose of the collier, so the collier bumped into them and had his nose put out of joint. There was a considerable amount of yelling, but the ferry boat slid flatly away towards Manly, and Harriet's excitement subsided" [125]). He may have been accompanied by the member of the Friend clan he met on the previous Sunday at Narrabeen, Robert Moreton Friend. Lawrence and Scott hit it off and Scott invites him to stay with him in his flat at Neutral Bay, a short walk from Mosman Bay. Lawrence may then have returned to the city to deal with his trunks, and perhaps to go to Cooks for mail. Afterwards, he returns via Cremorne, catches the tram from the wharf up Murdoch Street and walks along Bennett Street to Scott's flat at 112 Wycombe Road. After dinner he climbs the tub-top lookout in the back garden and sees the light of the Macquarie Lighthouse across the dark harbor. He probably has a game of chess with Scott, who may also have given him a political tract to read (written by the man Lawrence was being considered to replace on the publication, King and Empire, that Scott is connected with--a tract in which the principal character/ideologue is named "Cooley" [Taylor 59]).

FRIDAY 2/6/22

Having decided to stay in Sydney until Saturday, when he intends to accompany Scott down to Thirroul for the holiday weekend, Lawrence--not having access to his writing material--is at loose ends. He may have communicated to Frieda his intention to stay on in Sydney via the Friend family in Thirroul, who have a telephone. He may have had lunch in town with Scott, or Hum. There is nothing in the text to indicate what he did during the day. He may have gone to one of the libraries in Sydney, perhaps the School of Arts library in Pitt Street, to do some preliminary research. However, it is likely that he returned to Scott's flat in the evening via ferry, tram, and walk to Wycombe Road. He may have had another game of chess with Scott before retiring to bed, and read some more about Cooley.


Apparently Scott, an insurance broker, could not get away from work until after lunch, when they again caught the 2 p.m. train to Thirroul, arriving about 4:30 p.m. They walked together towards Craig Street, stopping to watch a Rugby League football game on the Thirroul oval (K: "On the field the blues and the reds darted madly about, like strange bird-creatures rather than men. They were mostly blond, with hefty legs, and with prominent round buttocks that worked madly inside the little white cotton shorts" [180]). It is likely that Scott has been invited to stay at Wyewurk in the spare bedroom, in which case he would have had dinner there and perhaps had a game of draughts with Lawrence before retiring, there being no chess set in the holiday cottage.

SUNDAY 4/6/22

A number of Sydney people come down to Thirroul for the long King's Birthday weekend, and most of the town's holiday cottages are occupied. The weather is balmy, 64 degrees at midday. It is on this day, or the next, that Scott begins to tell Lawrence about the secret army behind the King and Empire Alliance, of which Scott is treasurer and deputy to Sir Charles Rosenthal. Apparently--if the text is to be believed--this revelation takes place on the beach below Wyewurk (K: "'I say,' Jack turned his face. 'I shan't be making a mistake if I tell you a few things in confidence, shall I?'" [188]). Up to this point, Lawrence is apparently intending to write what he called "a romance"--probably some sort of fictionalized diary of personal events and thoughts. But after Jack Scott indiscreetly begins to allow him into the secrets of the King and Empire Alliance and its secret army ("the garage"), he has a very different plot in prospect (K: "'Well now,' he said in Somers ear, in a soothed tone. 'There's quite a number of us in Sydney--and in the other towns as well--we re mostly diggers back from the war--we ve joined up into a kind of club'" [88]). It is likely that Lawrence, and perhaps Scott and others go for a swim in the still-warm ocean (K: "we bathe at midday." [4L 256]). Lawrence and Frieda may also have done some shopping for a big lunch they are planning for next day.

The day of the big "King's Birthday" lunch at Wyewurk arrives (K: "Somers knew why Harriet had launched this invitation. It was because she had had a wonderfully successful cooking morning. Like plenty of other women Harriet had learned to cook during war-time, and now she loved it, once in a while. This had been one of the whiles. Somers had stoked the excellent little stove, and peeled the apples and potatoes and onions and pumpkin, and looked after the meat and the sauces, while Harriet had lashed out in pies and tarts and little cakes and baked custard. She now surveyed her prize Beeton shelf with love, and began to whisk up a mayonnaise for potato salad" [34]). Scott is there and probably members of the Friend clan who brought them to Thirroul the previous Monday. Scott either catches the late train back to Sydney or the early-morning one the next day, as he had to be back at work on Tuesday. It is likely that Lawrence fitted in some writing yesterday and today, perhaps while Scott was away visiting the Friends. This seemingly consisted of two sessions, the first--section #2, from MS p. 9[a] to p. 26 (about 3700 words), relating the arrival at Torestin in suburban Sydney up to the conversation in the garden with Jack and "Mrs [Victoria] Callcott." The second--probably written on Monday morning--was made up of his initial observations about Australia and Australians (K: "In Australia authority was a dead letter" [32]). (Session #3, pp. 26-33, about 1350 words).

TUESDAY 6/6/22

An overcast day. Lawrence spends the morning writing most of section #4, MS pp. 34-51 (about 3800 words), starting with the opening of chapter 2 "Neighbours," and recording the events of the first Sunday, the excursion to Manly and Narrabeen, and the car trip back to town. It is his habit, as he indicates in Kangaroo, to write in the morning after his breakfast chores (K: "He always got up in the morning, made the fire, swept the room, and tidied roughly. Then he brought in coal and wood, made the breakfast, and did any little out-door job. After breakfast he helped to wash up, and settled the fire. Then he considered himself free to his own devices" [162]). This usually meant going into the front garden of Wyewurk, leaning against the wall of the verandah and filling one of the exercise books he bought in Ceylon with his easy, fluent script--as if, as one observer noted, he were taking dictation. However, the handwriting pattern indicates that he probably writes about 8500 words today, which implies two sessions, morning and afternoon, although there is no obvious break in his handwriting. However, this may also have involved some writing from the previous day. No hint yet appears in chapter 2 of any secret army plot, although this must have been already fermenting in his consciousness. However, he has plenty to write about before he reaches Jack Scott's secret army revelations the previous Sunday or Monday.


Another busy writing day with little time for much else. In the morning between 9 a.m. and noon, he probably writes his fifth section of the text, about 3000 words (MS pp. 52-66), from the trip back to town in chapter 2 to the start of chapter 3, "Larboard Watch Ahoy!" He has written about 12,000 words in two or perhaps three days. He has a lot to catch up, for he is still some distance in his writing. (For this novel Lawrence averages between 3500 and 4500 words per writing session). After lunch he probably spends the rest of the day pottering around and perhaps going for a walk along McCauley's Beach, below Wyewurk, with Frieda.


Lawrence almost certainly goes to Sydney on Thursday to meet Jack Scott at his office in Pitt Street, then walks up Hoskins Place to Rosenthal's chambers at 8 Mendes Chambers in Castlereagh Street. He has lunch with Rosenthal and Scott and picks up his mail at Cook's before or after lunch. He then returns to Thirroul by the late train. However, he must have managed some writing today, maybe in the evening, for it is likely he writes section 6, i.e. most of chapter 3, "Larboard Watch Ahoy!" (section #6, MS pp. 67-86, about 4000 words). The purpose of the lunch is to sound Lawrence out about a writing or editing job on the K&E Alliance's monthly journal, as their main propagandist has recently departed for overseas (K: "I hope you are going to write something for us" [109]). For Lawrence, however, the object of the meeting is to get material for the novel they do not know he has decided to write about them. By now--three days after he started writing and with three chapters already written--Lawrence decides to call the novel Kangaroo and to have its principal character be Benjamin Cooley (aka Charles Rosenthal).

Lawrence writes about 3500 words today (section #7: MS pp. 87-104) from the start of chapter 4 "Jack and Jaz" to the chat opposite Mosman wharf. He also writes a number of letters in response to the mail he picked up in Sydney. He tells his agent Mountsier that his new novel is going well ("at a great rate"), and will be finished by August; however, he has only 31 [pounds sterling] left (4L 255). He tells his mother-in-law it's "a weird novel of Australia" (4L 258). He tells his American publisher Seltzer it's going well ("but no sex") (4L 258). He tells his future hostess in Taos, Mabel Dodge, that it's "a queer novel" and that he might do something similar in America (4L 256). He probably writes his five letters in the evening. The weather is balmy, 66 degrees at midday.

SATURDAY 10/6/22

Another busy writing day (section #8, MS pp. 104-127, about 4800 words: from the Mosman Bay meeting to Jaz arriving at Torestin with fruit and a talk with Harriett, also Jack inviting them down to Mullumbimby). The days are closing in with sunset at 4:58 p.m., but the weather remains fine (63 degrees at midday). Lawrence is still writing about events that occurred more than a week before so he still has plenty of interim material to process.

SUNDAY 11/6/22.

Today Lawrence writes section #9: MS pp. 127-149, i.e., about 4400 words from the conversation with Jaz at the end of chapter 4 to going down to Mullumbimby and moving into Coo-ee in chapter 5. Much of this action occurred almost two weeks previously, on Monday, May 29. In fact, he is retreading the first move into Torestin--a double-use stratagem he will employ frequently in coming chapters. He also writes letters to his American and British publishers, telling Seltzer that the novel is going well ("pray the gods are with me" [4L 261]), and Secker that it's "a quite different" novel, "weird country" (4L 261).

MONDAY 12/6/22

Another busy writing day. Lawrence is apparently keen to catch up. He writes sections #10 and #11, about 7700 words (MS pp. 148-186), in perhaps two sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, from the clean-up of Coo-ee and a dip in the sea to the end of chapter 5, with Harriett lying in bed and watching the sea and sky through their bedroom window (K: "she liked to lie luxuriously in bed and watch the lovely, broken colours of the Australian dawn" [101]).

Section #12: MS pp. 187-208, about 4600 words, from the start of the "Kangaroo" chapter 5 and the lunch in Cooley's chambers to the Cape York tiger-cat story (extracted from the June 8 issue of The Bulletin). Lawrence is still catching up with events--the lunch with Rosenthal was less than a week ago. It may also be that he is reassessing where he is going with the novel. He started a second notebook here. He may also have written something that he had second thoughts about, for it seems that some pages have been cut out of the MS. Also his page numbering seems awry, and chapter 6 was perhaps originally chapter 7. He may have intended the work to comprise several parts (chapter 7 was originally the start of Part II). It is possible that Part I was meant to be set in Sydney, and Part II in Thirroul (hence the two houses, Torestin and Coo-ee). Whatever his original intentions, he is now, apparently, in full flight with what he must have thought was plenty of material and the prospect of more ahead. The meeting he has just had with Rosenthal, surely, would lead somewhere interesting.


Lawrence posts two letters today, one to Frieda's sister Else ("We don't know a soul here" [4L 262]) and one to his erstwhile Ceylon host, Earl Brewster ("I am writing a novel ... queer show" [4L 265]). He writes section #13 (MS pp. 209-229), about 4100 words, from the Cape York tiger-cat story to the end of chapter 6 and the second meeting with Cooley. At this stage he is probably assuming that Somers's dealings with Cooley, i.e. his contact with Rosenthal, are going to provide the rest of the plot of the novel. It may be that Lawrence has had some contact about now with the local coal mine and its Welsh manager, a Mr. Evans. He may have walked along McCauley's Beach in the afternoon and met Evans or someone else involved with the nearby Excelsior Colliery. Indeed, given his mining background, it would have been odd if he had no contact with the nearby mine, whose coal jetty stuck out into the ocean between Wyewurk and Sandon Point.

THURSDAY 15/6/22

As is now his custom, Lawrence probably spends the morning writing: section #14, his customary approximately 4000 words, from the start of chapter 7, "The Battle of Tongues," and the meeting with Jaz on the coal jetty (MS pp. 229-249) (K: "One of these afternoons when Somers was walking down on the sands, looking at the different shells, their sea-colours of pink and brown and rainbow and brilliant violet and shrimp-red, and when the boats were loading coal on the moderately quiet sea, he noticed the little engine standing steaming on the jetty, just overhead where he was going to pass under" [126]). He ends the session with the supposed third meeting with Cooley in Sydney, reprising and embellishing the discussion with Rosenthal the previous Thursday. Interestingly--and perhaps ominously--he is now beginning to write about fairly recent events, having largely run out of or caught up with earlier events.

FRIDAY 16/6/22

However, he still has some previous material he could either use or reprise. Today he writes section #15 (again about 4000 words), taking the plot on from the meeting with Jaz to the start of chapter 8, "Volcanic Evidence" (MS pp. 249-279). He writes once more about his visit to Scott's flat (cf. the Welsh rarebit incident) two weeks earlier. He also overwrites, apparently, some of the MS, perhaps indicating problems he is beginning to have in advancing the plot. The weather the previous day was stormy, and it was then perhaps he bathed naked in the surf (he had no bathing suit), and returned to Wyewurk for sex with Frieda (K: "That was chic" [147]).

SATURDAY 17/6/12

Today he writes section #16, about 3990 words (MS pp. 270-289), from the "wooden heart" incident, (where Somers sends a red wooden heart with the motto "The world belongs to the manly brave" to Cooley to show his suitability for secret army work) to another meeting with Jaz at Coo-ee. There is a strong likelihood that Lawrence did send such a memento to Rosenthal, as the name of the heart was probably "Rosenthal," after the Black Forest village where it was made and acquired by Lawrence in 1912. By now, Scott and Rosenthal will have realized that Lawrence is not going to write for their journal (K: "'I won't promise at this minute, said Richard, rising to escape. 'I want to go now. I will tell you within a week. You might send me details of your scheme for the paper. Will you? And I'll think about it hard'" [202]) and they have no further interest in, or use for, him. Lawrence, however, does have a considerable and ongoing interest in them--it is his belief that they will help provide him with a plot--so he has to do his best to keep in touch with them. Hence, perhaps, the dispatch of the red wooden heart.

SUNDAY 18/6/22

Not a writing day. Lawrence is now running out of things to write about. He has used up almost everything that has happened to him in Sydney and Thirroul (the diary ingredients), some of them twice over (a stratagem he will have to resort to more and more from now on). He may have spent Sunday and session #17 revising and rewriting (we cannot easily deduce when he revised the MS--see below). He may even have turned back to his Verga translations (he had been translating the works of the Italian writer Giovanni Verga since he left Sicily earlier in the year and was to continue to do so after he finished Kangaroo). Yet what he needs is more material from Scott and Rosenthal to advance the political plot of the novel, which has now come to a stop in terms of plot, as he confesses in both the text (K: "He had come to the end of his own tether" [149]) and his letters (see below).

MONDAY 19/6/22

On Monday he writes to Mabel Dodge in Taos saying, "I am stuck in my novel" (4L 267). Nevertheless, he still manages to scrape up about 2100 words today, and tomorrow will start chapter 7, "Volcanic Evidence" (sections #18-19, MS pp. 289?-299?). He may also have rewritten seven earlier pages (about 1200 words, interlinear). However, "Volcanic Evidence" is plainly padding and contains a long extract from the Sydney Daily Telegraph about volcanoes in Eastern Australia, borrowed from a May 8 issue of the paper, which had probably been stored in or under the cottage for kindling purposes. He also writes several letters, which he will post tomorrow. He remarks in the text (chapter 8) that today was their first day of winter weather (K: "This was the first wintery day they had really had" [144]). The midday temperature had dropped to a chilly 51 degrees in Sydney.

TUESDAY 20/6/22

Today and tomorrow Lawrence is still struggling to conjure up something to write about. He may have written something and been unhappy with it, as there is evidence that around this time he excised a number of pages from the MS maybe as much as a complete session--perhaps his original chapter 9, or around 3000 words. Whatever he does write we can take as session #20, perhaps MS pp. 300-324?, but we cannot be sure of its length nor, of course, its content. The chapter written after the weak chapter 8, "Volcanic Evidence," is even weaker: chapter 9, "Harriett and Somers at Sea in Marriage." This is Lawrence at his most discursive and flippant. The breaks in the MS, indicating writing sessions, are inconclusive or indistinct here. It is even possible that he went to Sydney again to pick up his mail, for either today or tomorrow he receives fourteen letters. On the other hand, and more probably, he may have had his mail redirected and received those fourteen letters in a parcel on Wednesday morning at Wyewurk. Meanwhile, he ends "Volcanic Evidence" wondering when events will provide him with more material for his stalled plot ("might get a leg up into affairs" [168]).


The letters Lawrence writes today, which may have taken some time, give useful insight into his state of mind as he tries to find a way forward, now that Scott and Rosenthal have cut him off from any information about their organization (which is itself, since the Labor Government was defeated in the recent election, pondering its future existence). He tells William Siebenhaar in Perth that he is trying to write a novel, and that he and Frieda "make excursions around" (4L 270). He tells his United States agent, Mountsier, that he has done more than half of Kangaroo but is "now slightly stuck" (4L 268). Meanwhile Frieda, writing to Mabel Dodge in Taos, says that Lawrence "has written a novel, gone it full tilt at page 305, but has come to a stop and kicks" (4L 268). (It appears that Lawrence numbered each page of the manuscript as he went along). He tells his American publisher, Thomas Seltzer, who was keen to see his new novel, that he has done more than half of Kangaroo ("the Lord alone knows what anybody will think of it: no love at all, and attempt at revolution" [4L 267]). But he admits he is having problems with it ("I hope is shall be able to finish it: not like Aaron, who stuck for two years, and Mr Noon, who has been now nearly two years at a full stop" [4L 267]). However, he adds, he has hopes of completing it ("I think I see my way" [4L 267]). This optimism may have been mere bravado or he may have decided to give affairs "a leg up" by also writing to Rosenthal seeking another meeting. Lawrence may have written some text today, but, if so, we cannot deduce precisely what it might have been.

THURSDAY 22/6/22

If Lawrence is to advance his stalled narrative, he has to find something more substantive than causal plagiarism or flippant comment, though the latter does probably reflect some real-life domestic conflict in Wyewurk, overheard and later recorded via a passing messenger-boy. What he does decide to do pending a trip to Sydney to see Scott and Rosenthal again is to rewrite part of an earlier chapter, "Coo-ee," which related the crucial meeting with Scott on the beach below Wyewurk and the details Scott divulged about the secret army. This information is the very nub of the plot and the justification for the novel's narrative. Over the next two days, he reprised it for chapter 10, "Diggers," i.e. sections #21-22 MS pp. 310-336, or about 5200 words. We cannot be sure when he wrote what, for the breaks in the handwriting are inconclusive.

FRIDAY 23/6/22

Lawrence begins chapter 10, "Diggers," with a reference to the domestic conflict that no doubt sparked the previous "At Sea in Marriage," chapter 9 (K: "They had another ferocious battle, Somers and Harriet; they stood opposite to one another in such fury one against the other that they nearly annihilated one another. He couldn t stay near her, so started walking off into the country" [177]). He walks up Bulli Pass to the Sublime Point lookout, where he looks down on the coast below and can pick out Wyewurk. Then he reprises Scott's visit on the holiday weekend, almost three weeks before, including the football game on the oval across from the station. He tries to dredge up from his memory what Scott had told him about the Diggers and the Maggies. (K: "After breakfast Somers got Jack to talk about Kangaroo and his plans. He heard again all about the Diggers' Clubs: nearly all soldiers and sailors who had been in the war, but not restricted to these" [183]). The extra detail he adds to the plot is substantial and apparently uninhibited by concern about secrecy or keeping his promise of confidentiality (K: "I shan't be making a mistake if I tell you a few things in confidence, shall I?" [272]). Somers divulges information about the military head of the Maggie Squads ("the garage"), whom he calls Colonel Ennis (actually Brigadier-General George Macarthur-Onslow) (K: "Colonel Ennis used to wear white riding-breeches and black gaiters, and a black jacket and a white stock, with his white hat--were the core and heart of the Digger Movement" [184]]. This was the uniform of the Australia Light Horse, in which Macarthur-Onslow was a senior officer during WWI. Lawrence swore to Jack Scott an oath of secrecy about sensitive details like this, so revealing them now in the text of a novel that he had every reason to believe would be published appears to be inappropriate. Or it simply shows how desperate Lawrence is for new plot material. The "Diggers " chapter ends with more domestic information (e.g. a cow getting a tea-towel tangled in its horns) and a colorful description, put in the words of a local, of the plane that offered joy rides from Thirroul Beach. Lawrence, however, must realize he has to find something more substantial soon.

SATURDAY 24/6/22

Not a writing day. Lawrence, now almost crippled by the lack of substantive plot ingredients, decides to travel to Sydney on Saturday to get "a leg up into affairs" (195). He probably either writes a note or sends a telegram to Rosenthal seeking a meeting, and Rosenthal probably sends a telegram back saying he could spare some time late on Saturday. Rosenthal is an extremely busy man. Given the lateness of the meeting, Lawrence has arranged to stay the night with Jack Scott in Neutral Bay. Nevertheless, Lawrence is now determined not to return to Thirroul empty handed. So he decides, quixotically, also to see Jock Garden at his office in the Sydney Trades Hall, to whom he probably has a letter of introduction from William Siebenhaar. So it is likely he makes some contact with the Trades Hall to find out if Garden will be in on Saturday. This is to prove one of the most dramatic days in Lawrence's life and will certainly give him ample material to move his stalled narrative forward. Fortunately we have an excellent record of what happens from the several versions of events in Kangaroo and from various other sources. So comprehensive is this record that we can use it to retrace Lawrence's movements that day, hour-by-hour:

6 a.m. Lawrence rises about 5 a.m. and catches the early train to Sydney (K: "Richard got up in the dark, to catch the six o'clock train to Sydney" [304]), arriving at Central Station about 8:30 a.m. There is some early morning rain, but it clears before midday. He leaves Central via Eddy Avenue (K: "In Sydney it was raining, but Richard did not notice. He hurried to the Hall" [304]), walked across Castlereagh, Pitt and George Streets to Ultimo Road, where he observes the recently-opened Kuo Min Tang building at 75 Ultimo Road, and tucks it away in his mind as a possible plot ingredient. He turns right into Thomas Street, crosses Hay Street, and walks up Dixon Street, where he buys a custard apple at one of the Chinese stores, arriving at the Trades Hall (K: "where the Socialists and Labour people had their premises: offices, meeting-rooms, club-rooms, quite an establishment" [193]) on the corner of Goulburn and Dixon streets shortly after 9 a.m.

c. 9:30 a.m. He sees Garden in his office and discusses the local political situation (K: "He was very dark, red-faced, and thin, with deep lines in his face, a tight shut, receding mouth, and black, burning eyes. He reminded Somers of the portraits of Abraham Lincoln" [193]), questioning him, among other things, about the activities of the returned servicemen in Sydney, as Garden later told his biographer, Arthur Hoyle.

c 10 a.m. He leaves the Trades Hall and walks up Goulburn Street to George Street.(K: "[He] went in silence down the crowded, narrow pavement of George Street, towards the Circular Quay" [202]). He strolls along George Street, looking at the shop windows, then crosses Liverpool and Bathurst Streets into the heart of the city. He has the rest of the day to fill in before his scheduled meeting with Rosenthal in the late afternoon, though he has probably also arranged to see Hum for lunch.

c 10:30-11:30 a.m. He calls into Dymocks bookshop at 428 George Street, where he buys two new notebooks as the ones he bought in Ceylon are nearly filled. He peruses the shelves, no doubt to see if any of his books are on display. He is seen, and perhaps accosted by a young shop-assistant, Frank Johnson, who later tells his friend Jack Lindsay about the encounter (Lindsay 32). Lawrence may have spent some time in the bookshop, perhaps going up to Dymocks' second-hand section on the top floor. He may even have bought a book, and he leaves the store about 11.30 a.m., possibly with a carry-bag containing the two new notebooks, the custard apple, and a book or two.

c. 12 noon. He continues his stroll along George Street, crosses King Street, and arrives at the General Post Office about noon. Either before or after this, he walks across Martin Place to Cooks between Pitt and George to collect mail or to inquire about onward travel to America. He has already decided to leave on SS Tahiti on August 12 and told his American contacts this. He buys some stamps at the GPO, emerging at the Pitt Street end of the building.

c. 12:30-1 p.m. He walks back down Martin Place, where he sees a paper-seller on the corner of George Street and may have bought a copy of The Bulletin for his afternoon reading (K: "Richard called at the General Post-office in Martin Place. As he came out again, and stood on the steps folding the stamps he had bought, seeing the sun down Pitt Street, the people hurrying, the flowers at the corner, the pink spread of Bulletins for sale at the corner of George Street" [202]). He then crosses George Street and walks up Wynyard Street to Carrington Street, where he meets with Gerald Hum in his Carter & Co office. He may have waited a short time while Hum gets ready, and Hum may have given him a contact for the Kuo Min Tang, which Lawrence notes in one of the exercise books he is carrying. Hum is familiar with the local Chinese community and may have been given a business card when he attended the opening of the Kuo Min Tang building the previous year. Then they go off together for lunch, hailing a hansom cab outside the GPO and directing the driver to take them to the Sydney Domain (the Palace Gardens), where they get out near a rock shelf called Mrs Macquarie's Chair.

c 2.30 p.m. They have purchased some food on the way (K: "Richard bought sandwiches and a piece of apple turnover, and went into the Palace Gardens to eat them" [305]), and they sit on the grass-bank above Farm Cove to share their picnic lunch. In front of them are remnants of the Australian Fleet at anchor in front of Government House (K: "In front in the small blue bay lay two little war-ships, pale grey, with the white flag having the Union Jack in one corner floating behind. And one boat had the Australian flag, with the five stars on a red field. They lay quite still, and seemed as lost as everything else, rusting into the water" [305]). Lawrence is in no hurry to leave (K: "He took himself off to the gardens to eat his custard apple--a pudding inside a knobbly green skin--and to relax into the magic ease of the afternoon" [306]), but Hum probably has to get back to his home and family in Chatswood. So they walked together through the Botanic Gardens to Macquarie Street, from where Lawrence accompanied Hum down to Circular Quay. where Hum probably catches a ferry across to Milson's Point.

c. 2:30-5:30 p.m. Lawrence now has about two hours to kill before the scheduled meeting with Rosenthal. He strolls around the streets of Sydney, observing the passing parade (K: "He wandered the hot streets, walked round the circular quay and saw the women going to the ferries" [306]). This, apparently, is his first opportunity to observe Australian women at close quarters--at least it is his first comment about them (K: "So many women, almost elegant. Yet their elegance provincial, without pride, awful. So many almost beautiful women. When they were in repose, quite beautiful, with pure, wistful faces, and some nobility of expression. Then, see them change countenance, and it seemed almost always a grimace of ugliness. Hear them speak, and it was startling, so ugly. Once in motion they were not beautiful. Still, when their features were immobile, they were lovely" [306]). He considers their attitude erotic (K: "Almost every one of the younger women walked as if she thought she was sexually trailing every man in the street after her. And that was absurd, too, because the men seemed more often than not to hurry away and leave a blank space between them and these women. But it made no matter: like mad-women the females, in their quasi-elegance, pranced with that prance of crazy triumph in their own sexual powers which left little Richard flabbergasted" [306]). He also wonders about the pedestrian habits of the locals (the city council was trying to impose a "keep to the left" regime on the pavements) (K: "Hot, big, free-and-easy streets of Sydney: without any sense of an imposition of CONTROL. No control, everybody going his own ways with alert harmlessness. On the pavement the foot-passengers walked in two divided streams, keeping to the left, and by their unanimity made it impossible for you to wander and look at the shops, if the shops happened to be on your right. The stream of foot passengers flowed over you" [306]). We do not know how long he walked the streets of Sydney. He may have filled in time by going to one of the libraries, perhaps the School of Arts library in Pitt Street between Park and Market Streets. In any case, he arrives at Rosenthal's rooms on the first floor of 8 Mendes Chambers about 5:30 p.m. for his scheduled appointment with the leader of the King and Empire Alliance.

c. 5:30-7 p.m. (K: "Somers went in the evening of this memorable day to dine with Kangaroo. The other man was quiet, and seemed preoccupied" [205]). Rosenthal is no doubt wondering why this curious little chap, in whom he has no further interest, wants to see him again. Almost certainly, he does not want to have dinner with him. But then Lawrence drops his bombshell. (K: "I went to Willie Struthers this morning,' Somers said" [205]). Up to this point, Lawrence almost certainly has no idea what he is getting mixed up in. He is a political ingenue. For example, he finds it very difficult to work out whether the Digger movement is left or right wing, although his conversation with Jock Garden that morning should have begun to open his eyes. However, they are not sufficiently open to realize how aghast and appalled Rosenthal will be when he learns that the man to whom his deputy Jack Scott has been talking to may have revealed some of the innermost details of their secret army, to, of all people, the founder of the local communist party and leader of the militant union movement in New South Wales, the very people the King and Empire Alliance was secretly founded to combat. Little wonder at Rosenthal's explosive reaction. This is as bad as whatever his worst nightmare could possibly be, "the sum of all his fears." Rosenthal has just been elected a member of parliament and is thus a prominent member of the NSW Government. He is a leading citizen, an alderman of the city council, a frequent guest at Government House, a general in the Army, a pillar of the church, a senior Mason, a war hero, a leader in his profession, and a knight of the realm. All this and more is in immediate jeopardy from this casual acquaintance whom Scott picked up and brought to him about a possible job in their about-to-be-disbanded organization and soon-to-be-defunct magazine. As Scott earlier told Lawrence, running a secret army in Australia is technically treason, and the penalty for that is hanging. The seriousness of the situation has to be brought home to this upstart, quite quickly (K: " Kangaroo looked at him sharply through his pince-nez" [205]). The interview quickly became confrontational (K: "'Why have you deceived me, played with me,' suddenly roared Kangaroo. 'I could have you killed.'" [205]). (In the original printed text--Seltzer, Secker and all editions before the CUP edition--the threat is "I could have killed you," [Selzer 244]. As Bruce Steele pointed out in a note to the CUP edition, Mountsier's typist misread the original text, and Lawrence failed to correct it in the first typescript and in proof form). Rosenthal, according to the text, then turned very nasty (K: "'I am sorry I have made a mistake in you,' he said. 'But we had better settle the matter finally here. I think the best thing you can do is to leave Australia. I don't think you can do me any serious damage with your talk. I would ask you--before I warn you--not to try'" [210]). Rosenthal was no longer the benign, benevolent, Jehovah-like figure (K: "there came an exceedingly sweet charm into his face, for a moment his face was like a flower" [110]) with whom Lawrence had lunch a week or so ago. He has now--inexplicably to Lawrence--been transformed into a monster: (K: "He had become again hideous, with a long yellowish face and black eyes close together, and a cold, mindless, dangerous hulk to his shoulders. For a moment Somers was afraid of him, as of some great ugly idol that might strike. He felt the intense hatred of the man coming at him in cold waves. He stood up in a kind of horror, in front of the great, close-eyed horrible thing that was now Kangaroo. Yes, a thing, not a whole man. A great Thing, a horror" [211]). Lawrence made for the door (K: "he kept all his wits about him, and as by inspiration managed the three separate locks of the strong door. ...Rosenthal was behind him. ...'Goodnight! said Somers, at the blind, horrible-looking face. And he moved quickly down the stairs and out into the street" [211]). Lawrence is now a very aware and a very frightened individual. (K: "Dark streets, dark, streaming people. And fear. One could feel such fear, in Australia" [211]). Where is he to go? What was he to do?

c. 7 p.m.-midnight. Apparently he wanders around for a while, rubbing shoulders with cinema crowds, then goes back to the Carlton Hotel, a block down from Mendes Chambers in Castlereagh Street, and books himself a room for the night, despite the expense. He has intended to go across the Harbour to stay with Jack Scott at 112 Wycombe Road, but that was out of the question now ("'Were you disgusted with Lovatt when he didn t turn up the other Saturday?' said Harriet. 'I do hope you weren't sitting waiting for him.' 'Well--er--yes, we did wait up a while for him " [285]). That night in the Carlton Hotel Lawrence experiences what he calls in the novel "The Nightmare," which is to provide the ingredients for chapter 9 that he writes after he returns to Wyewurk.

SUNDAY 25/6/22

However, that is not the chapter he writes next after returning to Thirroul, presumably departing from Central late on Sunday morning. He has the dramatic and traumatic events of Saturday yet to turn into fiction. His composition is now very much up to speed. He probably gets back to Wyewurk in the early afternoon, with a lot to tell Frieda. There is no time for writing that day, though what he is going to write next morning is no doubt bubbling up inside him. The morning drizzle has cleared to a fine, cold day. Perhaps he goes for a late-afternoon walk along McCauley's Beach--he has much to mull over.

MONDAY 26/6/12

He starts writing chapter 11, "Willie Struthers and Kangaroo" (session #23: MS pp. 337-348, about 4400 words, covering the entire meeting with Jock Garden and ending with his departure from Trades Hall). This is, not unexpectedly, the start of an intensive writing period, for he has plenty of material at his disposal and can give his daemon, which soon begins to make its appearance in the text, full reign. Over the next four days, Monday to Thursday, he writes about 19,000 words, comprising three chapters: "Willie Struthers and Kangaroo," "The Nightmare" and "'Revenge!' Timotheus Cries." He averages almost 5000 words a session, mostly in small, dense handwriting, writing about 240 words a page. (Here the breaks in the text are again difficult to discern).

TUESDAY 27/6/12

Lawrence writes over 5500 words this morning (section #24, MS pp. c348-c376, from Somers's departure from Trades Hall to the end of chapter 11 and stumbling out of Cooley's chambers, thus completing his report of the events of the pervious Saturday, up to booking into the Carlton Hotel). He makes two uses of some of this material, both his meeting with Garden (in both chapter 11 and later in chapter 16, "A Row in Town") and what happened afterwards. In particular, he gives a longer account of what he did after leaving the Trades Hall and going to the Domain with Hum (initially in chapter 11 he merely takes a hansom cab to "the aviaries") (K: "'Jaz,' he said, 'I want to drive round the Botanical Gardens and round the spit there--and I want to look at the peacocks and cockatoos'" [203]). But he embellishes it considerably in "A Row in Town" (K: "With midday came the sun and the clear sky: a wonderful clear sky and a hot, hot sun. Richard bought sandwiches and a piece of apple turnover, and went into the Palace Gardens to eat them" [305]). At this point, however, only three days after the confrontation with Rosenthal, the memory of that traumatic experience is fresh in his mind, and he wants to put it down on paper.


Today, in session #25, he writes over 5000 tightly-scripted words (MS pp. c. 376-c. 410?), starting with the beginning of "The Nightmare" chapter), recalling the persecution he and Frieda suffered during the war. His mind goes back to other times of fear in his life (K: "He had known such different deep fears. In Sicily, a sudden fear, in the night of some single murderer, some single thing hovering as it were out of the violent past, with the intent of murder" [312]). Interestingly, at the end of this long and famous chapter, he asks himself why it has suddenly all come out (K: "It was like a volcanic eruption in his consciousness. For some weeks he had felt the great uneasiness in his unconscious. For some time he had known spasms of that same fear that he had known during the war: the fear of the base and malignant power of the mob-like authorities. . it had come back in spasms: the dread, almost the horror, of democratic society, the mob. . Why? Why, in this free Australia? Why? Why should they both have been feeling this same terror and pressure that they had known during the war, why should it have come on again in Mullumbimby? Perhaps in Mullumbimby they were suspect again, two strangers, so much alone. Perhaps the secret service was making investigations about them" [259]). He still has little or no idea what he has run across in Australia. However, he does at least suspect that it has something to do with his encounters with Scott and Rosenthal (K: "perhaps it was this contact with Kangaroo and Willie Struthers, contact with the accumulating forces of social violence" [259]). Critics have long been puzzled over why Lawrence injected the vivid account of his time in Cornwall during the First World War into Kangaroo, for it seems out of place--and time--in a novel about Australia. This conclusion to "The Nightmare" chapter (K: "perhaps it was this contact" [259]) probably provides the answer.

THURSDAY 29/6/22

Today, in session #26 (c. 4400 words, MS pp. c. 410-c. 430?) he completes "The Nightmare" chapter and adds the short "'Revenge!' Timotheus Cries" chapter, bringing him back from Cornwall to Sydney, i.e., from the birth certificate incident (K: "'We want your birth certificate,' said the sergeant" [223]) to the start of chapter 14, "Bits." The previous two chapters are of a piece, and end (fictionally) with his finally lapsing into sleep (so it was not an actual nightmare, it seems, but a period of recall in his room at the Carlton Hotel the previous Saturday night (K: "After all his terrific upheaval, Richard Lovat at last gave it up, and went to sleep. A man must even know how to give up his own earnestness, when its hour is over, and not to bother about anything any more, when he's bothered enough" [288]). However, he has now exhausted--at least for the first time around--the material from the previous Saturday, and he must have realized he is going to get nothing more from such sources (Garden was off to Melbourne to attend a week-long trade union conference). Lawrence is now back to where was the previous week, with nothing substantive to advance the political plot of his diary-novel. He is obliged to resort to his imagination increasingly from now on.

FRIDAY 30/6/22

Not a writing day. After the burst of activity of the previous three days, Lawrence needs a break. So he and Frieda go off on a day-trip to Wollongong. It was a typical, sunny Australian winter day (K: "A very strong wind had got up from the west. It blew down from the dark hills in a fury, and was cold as flat ice. It blew the sea back until the great water looked like dark, ruffled mole-fur. It blew it back till the waves got littler and littler, and could hardly uncurl the least swish of a rat-tail of foam. On such a day his restlessness had driven them on a trip along the coast to Wolloona. They got to the lost little town just before mid-day" [272]). This is Lawrence at what he does best--describing, vividly, what happens. They catch a train down to Wollongong, a much larger town than Thirroul, and walk down Main Street towards the sea, noting the shop windows, local hotels and steelworks belching smoke further down the coast. They buy some sandwiches and find a sheltered place to eat them in the dunes. They walk along the water's edge, and suddenly a rogue wave catches them unaware. Lawrence's hat falls into the sea, and he plunges in after it. Frieda is convulsed with laughter (K: "'His hat! His hat! He wouldn't let it go'--shrieks, and her head like a sand-bag flops to the sand--'no--not if he had to swim'--shrieks--'swim to Samoa'" [274]). They miss the train back and have to return to Thirroul via a local bus. Once again, Lawrence observes the ordinary Australians and likes what he sees. (K: "Real careless Australians, careless of their appearance, careless of their speech, of their money, of everything--except of their happy-go-lucky, democratic friendliness. Really nice, with bright, quick, willing eyes" [275]). The chill westerly wind is blowing almost a gale as they walk from the bus stop in Station Street the half dozen blocks or so back to Wyewurk (K: "The wind blew them home. He made a big fire, and changed, and they drank coffee made with milk, and ate buns" [277]). Frieda lies in front of the fire and reads a Nat Gould novel, while Lawrence no doubt ponders where his novel is taking him, and, more importantly, where he is now to get enough material to finish it. He will have to start the next chapter in the morning, Saturday.


(Session #27: c. 3360 words, MS pp. 431-447 from the start of chapter 14 to the end of his account of the trip to Wollongong). He calls the chapter "Bits," and it begins with material taken from the June 23 issue of The Bulletin that he has probably bought up in Sydney the previous Saturday (K: "The following day Somers felt savage with himself again ... he looked at the big pink spread of his Sydney Bulletin ... he liked the Bulletin better than any paper he knew. ...So he rushed to read the 'bits'" [266]). The "bits" were extracted from the famous "Aboriginalities" page of The Bulletin, which consisted of items sent in by pseudonymous readers and then heavily edited, reflecting the Australian way of life. Lawrence added his own comments (K: "'1805: The casual Digger of war-days has carried it into civvies. Sighted one of the original Tenth at the Outer Harbour (Adelaide) wharf last week fishing. His sinker was his 1914 Star.' Yes, couldn't Somers just see that forlorn Outer Harbour at Adelaide, and the digger, like some rag of sea-weed dripping over the edge of the wharf fishing, and using his medal for a weight?" [268]). In this chapter Lawrence quotes more than twelve items, almost word for word, adding the captions of several Bulletin cartoons (K: "Somers liked the concise, laconic style. It seemed to him manly and without trimmings. Put ship-shape in the office, no doubt. Sometimes the drawings were good, and sometimes they weren't. ...Bits, bits, bits. Yet Richard Lovat read on. It was not mere anecdotage. It was the sheer momentaneous life of the continent. There was no consecutive thread. Only the laconic courage of experience" [272]). Lawrence begins introducing a new element into the text, consisting of imaginary conversations between himself and the supposed reader. At first they are substantive (K: "He could have kicked himself for wanting to help mankind, join in revolutions or reforms or any of that stuff. He was a preacher and a blatherer, and he hated himself for it. Damn the 'soul', damn the 'dark god', damn the 'listener' and the 'answerer,' and above all, damn his own interfering, nosy self. What right had he to go nosing round Kangaroo, and making up to Jaz or to Jack?" [272]), but they are soon became more discursive, even frivolous, as his "factual" material grows thin again. However, he is about to get an injection of new "factual" material, which is to give him the elements of his next chapter, "Jack Slaps Back." For on Sunday he receives an unexpected visitor to Wyewurk in the person of Jack Scott. However, it is a very different Jack Scott (aka Jack Callcott) from the one who had featured earlier in the novel.

SUNDAY 2/7/22

Jack Scott probably comes down from Sydney late on Saturday and stays overnight with the Friend family at their compound on the outskirts of Thirroul. That will have been the first day Scott can get away from Sydney after Lawrence failed to show up at 112 Wycombe Road the previous Saturday and after Rosenthal informed his second-in-command that Lawrence has been "nosing around" the Trades Hall and having meetings with Jock Garden, the bete rouge of the King and Empire Alliance. Scott, no doubt on instructions from Rosenthal, will want to find out precisely what Lawrence is up to and how much of a danger he poses to their secret organization. The meeting is to bring home to Lawrence--perhaps for the first time--the dangerous game he has been playing (K: "Jack trotted over to Coo-ee on the Sunday afternoon" [285]). There are several versions of what followed, perhaps three, for there is also evidence that Lawrence cut a number of pages from the holograph when writing "Jack Slaps Back." The version in the holograph, which may not necessarily have been the first, is not as stark as the final version, which is written, interlinear, over the subsequent typed text several months later in the comparative safety of Taos. Interestingly, as Lawrence rewrites the text he tends to revert--as if released from constraint--towards what is apparent actuality, i.e. as he revises, he gets more truthful to what he actually experienced. In the ultimate, published, version of "Jack Slaps Back" Jack Callcott (Jack Scott) oozes suppressed violence and dire threat. (K: "his face looked different. .. His eyes were dark and inchoate" [286]). Lawrence quickly gathers the purpose of his visit (K: "[He] had come like a spy to take soundings. ... Some of the fear he had felt for Kangaroo he now felt for Jack. Jack was really very malevolent" [287]). Jack gets to the point (K: "'You've found out all you wanted to know, I suppose?' said Jack" [291]). There is a curious, almost amusing, irony in all this. Lawrence does not know what Scott and Rosenthal are doing--organizing a secret army--and Scott does not know what Lawrence is doing--writing a book about them and their organization. One cannot but wonder what would have happened if either realized what the other was actually doing. The confrontation quickly grows hostile, and Scott begins making threats (K: "we want some sort of security that you ll keep quiet, before we let you leave Australia" [291]). Rosenthal's earlier threat may have come back to Lawrence at this moment (K: "I could have you killed" [209]). Lawrence apparently tried to assure Scott that their secrets were safe with him (K: "'You need not be afraid,' he said. 'You've made it all too repulsive to me now, for me ever to want to open my mouth about it all. You can be quite assured: nothing will ever come out through me'" [292]). It is amazing that Lawrence could have said that with a straight face--assuming he did say it--with thirteen chapters of Kangaroo actually in the next room waiting for further additions. Scott, however, is not satisfied (K: "Jack looked up with a faint, sneering smile. 'And you think we shall be satisfied with your bare word?' he said uglily" [292]). The confrontation ends, fictionally, with Harriett emerging from the house and asking what the two men had been arguing about. (K: "'It was about time you came to throw cold water over us,' smiled Jack" [292]). Then, apparently, he took his leave (K:"'Ah, well!' said Jack. 'Cheery-o! We aren't such fools as we seem. The milk's spilt, we won't sulk over it'" [293]. We can only assume that Scott and Rosenthal decided that Lawrence posed no serious threat to them and their organization. Despite what the later text says, this is the last time Lawrence has any contact with Scott, Rosenthal and the King and Empire Alliance. Lawrence, however, is yet (as of noon Saturday) to finish "Bits " and start the next chapter. The likelihood is that he uses the Sunday morning before Scott arrives to write the remaining 820 words of "Bits " (session #28, MS pp. 447-450, including the text cut out), consisting of a very discursive exegesis, initiated by another Bulletin "Bits" item about the herd instincts of cattle, in which Lawrence imagines himself, like a bullock trapped in a muddy waterhole, struggling to get out of the pot of spikenard (ointment) he has got himself into. He also makes a reference to what he calls "this gramophone of a novel" [290], perhaps echoing the diary nature of the work he mentioned earlier to Catherine Carswell and Mollie Skinner. This, however, is Lawrence at his most discursive, or frivolous and annoying. He ends the chapter on a note of "blood consciousness" and self-sacrifice (K: "to the dark God, and to the men in whom the dark God is manifest" [283].

MONDAY 3/7/22

(Session #29, c. 3300 words MS pp. 453-468). Lawrence starts chapter 15 not with the dramatic events of the previous day, but with a continuation of the discursive, chatty tone of the "Bits" chapter. He opens by confessing, frankly, his major problem: "Chapter follows chapter, and nothing doing" (284). It is possible that the opening of this chapter may have been partly written on Sunday and is thus a continuation of that session. He upbraids the reader, "If you don't like the novel, don't read it" (K 284) reminding the reader what the novel is about (K: "To be brief, there was a Harriet, a Kangaroo, a Jack and a Jaz and a Vicky, let alone a number of mere Australians" [284]), adding some casual domestic detail (K: "Harriet is quite happy rubbing her hair with hair-wash and brushing it over her forehead in the sun" [284]). After bringing in his Dark God again (K: "outside the gate it is one dark God, the Unknown. And the Unknown is a terribly jealous God, and vengeful" [284]), he moves on to convert the traumatic events of the previous day into text (K: "Jack trotted over to Coo-ee on the Sunday afternoon" [284]). We are assuming, as mentioned above, that the published version, written later in Taos, is the more accurate. In the first version, written the day after it happened, there is little threat, and Callcott/Scott is sardonic and sarcastic rather than threatening. It is Somers/ Lawrence who speaks sharply, calling Cooley and Callcott "liars" because they act like "he-men" (in contrast to Somers/Lawrence's "she-man"). Scott comes on much more strongly--indeed, he is portrayed as downright evil, in the subsequent revised version.

TUESDAY 4/7/22

Not a writing day, as Lawrence probably goes to Sydney to make inquiries about travel arrangements. Lawrence has intended to go to the American consulate in Martin Place to see about their visas for the United States. But he has failed to realize that July 4 is American Independence Day and thus the consulate is closed. He will have to go back next day. Nevertheless, as Somers later does in chapter 17, he probably goes to the Union Line shipping office (K: "Richard spent the afternoon going round to the Customs House and to the American Consulate with his passport, and visiting the shipping office to get a plan of the boat. He went swiftly from place to place" [339]). It is probable that Lawrence decides to remain in Sydney that night so that he can go to the consulate next morning. The likelihood is that he stays the night with the Hums at Chatswood, for the next day he probably goes to the Taronga Park Zoo in the company of Hum's young daughter Enid.


In the morning he and Enid go to the zoo (K: "And yet, when he went over to the Zoo, on the other side of the harbour--and the warm sun shone on the rocks and the mimosa bloom, and he saw the animals, the tenderness came back. A girl he had met, a steamer-acquaintance, had given him a packet of little extra-strong peppermint sweets. The animals liked them" [339]). Lawrence was particularly taken by the kangaroos. (K: "The female wouldn't come near to eat. She only sat up and watched, and her little one hung its tiny fawn's head and one long ear and one fore-leg out of her pouch, in the middle of her soft, big, grey body" [339]). Lawrence later made use of this image when he wrote his only poem about Australia, "Kangaroo." (CP: "Delicate mother Kangaroo / Sitting up there rabbit-wise, but huge, plump-weighted, /And lifting her

beautiful slender face, oh! so much more/gently and finely" [111]). However, when he gets to the consulate in Martin Place, there are problems. He is told that both he and Frieda will need photographs for their visas and that Frieda will have to come to the consulate in person (K: "both the Customs House and the Consulate wanted photographs and Harriet's own signature. She would have to come up personally" [339]). So Lawrence no doubt catches the 2 p.m. train back to Thirroul to fetch Frieda, since there is no other way of contacting her as Wyewurk does not have a telephone. The moon is full that evening, and Lawrence probably goes for a stroll along the moonlit beach before retiring (K: "It was a time of full moon. The moon rose about eight. She was so strong, so exciting, that Richard went out at nine o'clock down to the shore. The night was full of moonlight as a mother-of-pearl. He imagined it had a warmth in it towards the moon, a moon-heat. The light on the waves was like liquid radium swinging and slipping" [341]). This "liquid radium" image Lawrence is to make telling use of in his second-last chapter, written the following weekend.


Not a writing day. Lawrence and Frieda apparently go to Sydney, probably by a mid-morning train, have their photographs taken (Lawrence's is still extant) and take them to the American consulate, where everything is, this time, routine. (K: "There were no difficulties" [339]). But it seems they do not go back to Thirroul that afternoon, but remain in Sydney and visit one of the couples they met earlier on the Malwa coming to Sydney, Denis and Laura Forrester. A photograph exists in the Forrester family album of Frieda and Laura Forrester knitting or sewing together on the verandah of the house the Forresters are renting in Australia Street, Camperdown; Lawrence mentions in a later letter that Frieda has been doing some embroidery. There are also several snapshots of Frieda and Laura Forrester strolling in the Botanic Gardens, almost certainly taken by Denis Forrester probably on the same visit. Notably absent from these photographs is Lawrence himself. The assumption must be that he is occupied elsewhere, at least when the Botanic Gardens photographs are taken. It is most probable that he is engaged in research for his novel, which is now stuck again, as far as the political plot is concerned. It is possible that after Jack Scott's visit on Sunday Lawrence goes to the Trades Hall to see Jock Garden once more (as the text says), for Garden is now back in Sydney after the trades union conference in Melbourne. More likely, however, is that he goes to one of the libraries in Sydney--perhaps to the main Sydney library in Macquarie Street, opposite the Gardens--and reads in back-copies of the Sydney newspapers (perhaps The Sun) reports on the "May Day riot" in the Domain, Sydney's "Speakers Corner," just over a year before. Lawrence most likely uses reports of that incident, which involves the King and Empire Alliance and Jack Scott's secret army "soldiers," for his next chapter, "A Row in Town." He and Frieda probably return with the Forresters to Camperdown, where they may have had dinner with their other shipboard acquaintances, Mr. and Mrs. Marchbanks, who are staying in the same rented premises in Australia Street and who are also English immigrants brought out to Australia to work in the clothing factory in Camperdown. Denis Forrester recorded the event for Edward Nehls in 1958 (see above), as Forrester later explained: "he came to look us up...his royalties check had not arrived and he was short of cash. Marchbanks had more money than we at the time, and he willingly did what he could to help Lawrence. It was not a large amount anyhow. ...As a result of this contact, D.H. invited the four of us to 'Wyewurk' for a week end" (Nehls II, 157).

FRIDAY 7/7/22

(Session #30, MS pp. 469-c. 486: c. 3900 words.) Lawrence's next chapter (#16), "A Row in Town," which he begins writing today, is to be the climax of the novel (even though it is two chapters before the end, and starts very discursively). His problem, and it was an acute one, is that his only source of information for the political plot of his novel--the activities of the Diggers and Maggies--is now, with the severing of contact with Scott and Rosenthal, terminated. Consequently, his narrative is not only stalled, but is in limbo, with apparently little or no prospect of a credible or logical plot denouement. However, while up in Sydney he apparently undertook some research into some May Day disturbances that had occurred in Sydney over a year before. And this was to provide him with some of the ingredients he now so desperately needed to advance his story. He may have heard about these riotous events--whose violence is accurately reflected in the "A Row in Town" chapter--from either Scott or Garden, both of whom were personally involved in them, and decided to look them up. (During the clashes Garden was "counted out" by groups of ex-soldiers--as is Willie Struthers in Kangaroo.) It is equally possible, however, that he heard about them from Gerald Hum, and at his suggestion he went to The Sun newspaper office in Elizabeth Street, where he could ask to peruse back-issues for the previous May. (Hum's cousin, the journalist Howard Ashton, worked on The Sun, which Lawrence cites in the "A Row in Town" chapter.) Wherever he obtained this colorful material, his research apparently provided him with some of the ingredients he now needed to finish his story. (We should not think it unusual that Lawrence would have had recourse to newspapers and other publications while he was writing Kangaroo. He quotes and cites numerous such sources throughout the novel, and was not above, as we have seen, appropriating extensive passages of printed-text, verbatim). The other major ingredient is repetition. As he has done several weeks previously, with his arrival at Wyewurk and the visit of Jack Scott on the King's Birthday weekend, he decides to reprise his visit to the Trades Hall and his interview with Jock Garden, while also elaborating on what he and Hum do between the meeting with Garden in the morning and the confrontation with Rosenthal in the evening. However, the "A Row in Town" chapter begins, again, in a minor key, with Lawrence discoursing about herd instincts and "the mob-spirit" (K: "Why does a flock of birds rise suddenly from the tree-tops, all at once . and swirl round in one cloud . there was no visible sign or communication given. It was telepathic communication" [298]). This rambling exegesis goes on for 17 pages, without advancing the plot. It is likely he stops there, halfway down p. 486, ending session #30, and continues more substantively the next day.


However, this long, discursive opening to chapter 16 poses a problem, for it should not be there. Logically, the chapter should have begun with an account of Somers's trip to Sydney to attend the big public meeting, as does the second session in the chapter, section 31. That is what Lawrence's research in Sydney earlier in the week would seem to dictate. One is tempted to assume that the "herd instinct" opening to "A Row in Town" is written earlier and linked in some way to--is perhaps a continuation of--the discursive section at the start of the previous chapter, "Jack Slaps Back," about bullocks being trapped in a muddy waterhole. Yet it is in its correct place, for immediately above it Lawrence writes the name of the chapter, "A Row in Town," which implies that in it he has indeed intended to recount the story of the riot in Canberra House. So why does he begin, apparently irrelevantly, "The thing that Kangaroo had to reckon with, and would not reckon with, was the mass-spirit" (K 294) rather than "Richard came up to the big mass meeting of Labour in the great Canberra Hall, in Sydney" (K 304)? Ordinarily, the answer would be that he is filling in or padding out the text until he has something more active to write about. But that cannot be the case here. Two possible explanations present themselves. The first is that he needs to absorb or digest the more active ingredients before they are ready to be regurgitated, i.e. that the material he has gathered in Sydney has only been partly processed in his mind and is not ready to be put down on paper. The other is that he is not filling in at all, and that he indeed wants to talk about herd-instinct before going on to the action at Canberra House. Perhaps in this herd instinct passage there is something more substantive than is at first apparent. Certainly some significant issues are raised in it: the role of the mob, communication between various animals and humans, the role of dictatorial leadership (Lawrence mentions D'Annunzio, K 294), and the increasingly present Dark God that enters from below (K 303). But they have little, apparently, to do with advancing the main plot. Yet perhaps these "discursive" ingredients are, for Lawrence, an important part of the framework he is constructing to support what he actually wants to write about. Surely he did not think that a bald diary of his daily doings, his comings and goings in Sydney and Thirroul, would rivet his readers. No, it is his thoughts and comments that he would weave around them which his audience would want to read. But this speculation could go further, and help explain the underlying puzzle of the novel: how Lawrence could have had the extensive contact he undoubtedly did have with Scott, Rosenthal and Garden, and yet not understood nor appreciated what he had in fact run across in Sydney: an Australia-wide secret army. The explanation must be that he did not connect up the dots, and so never saw "the bigger picture." Perhaps for Lawrence, the novel's political plot--the activities of the Diggers and Maggies--is of no more significance to his overall purpose (writing a "romance" set in Australia) than, for example, his bus-trip from Wollongong to Thirroul, as described in the "Bits" chapter. (Hence also his flagrant lack of concern about the possible consequences of what he was doing--reflected in the otherwise unbelievably naive question later addressed from Taos to his American publisher, Seltzer: "Do you think the Australian Govt. or the Diggers might resent anything?" [4L 320]). Like most other people, Lawrence did not know what a secret army was even after it was explained to him by Jack Scott. [K: "'Well now, he said in Somers' ear, in a soothed tone. 'There's quite a number of us in Sydney--and in the other towns as well--we re mostly diggers back from the war--we've joined up into a kind of club " [92]). All that notwithstanding, the main, second, section of chapter 16 duly describes Somers/Lawrence's trip to town (K: "Richard got up in the dark, to catch the six o clock train to Sydney" [304]) to go to two fictional meetings in the Trades Hall/Canberra House, the morning one being a reprise of the original meeting with Garden in chapter 11, "Willie Struthers and Kangaroo" and the second the Labor mass meeting. (Session #31 MS pp. 492-518, over 5000 words, from going up to Sydney to the end of "A Row in Town").

Having finished chapter 16 "A Row in Town" (the first section, #30, on Friday and section #31 on Saturday, July 8), Lawrence now has two chapters to write before the novel is complete and ready to be posted to Mountsier in New York. He wrote to Mabel Dodge on Friday, probably in the evening after finishing his morning session, telling her he had two chapters left to write, which confirms the dating of "A Row in Town." So on Sunday morning he almost certainly begins section #32 and the start of chapter 17, "Kangaroo is Killed." The last two chapters consist of 39 MS pages or about 8600 words. It is not easy to distinguish the individual sessions that make up this final part of the novel, if indeed there are more than two. Had he been writing at his normal speed--3500-4000 words a day/session--his output could have been completed in two days, or three at most. That being the case, he could, indeed should, have completed the novel on Monday, July 10, or Tuesday, July 11, at the latest (see below). However, there is a problem with this, for on Wednesday, July 18, over a week later, he writes his American publisher Seltzer to say he finished Kangaroo the previous Saturday, i.e. on July 15. So what does he do between Sunday, July 9, and Saturday, July 15? This question is made even more difficult as he probably writes all of chapter 17 on Sunday, July 9 (Session #32: MS pp. 540-556?, c. 3500 words.) That leaves him six days to finish around 3300 words, or 19 MS pages, something he could have written in one morning. Moreover, there is no obvious break in the writing of the final chapter, nor any thematic change that indicates a break, signifying two sessions, one on Monday and a final one on Tuesday, July 11. There is no obvious explanation for this five-day writing gap. Chapter 17, "Kangaroo is Killed," begun on Sunday July 10, consists of three main elements: two separate visits to Sydney for Somers to see Cooley in the hospital (the second with Jack Callcott present) and a substantial sub-section in between describing a walk in the evening along the beach below Coo-ee/Wyewurk. The first two are utter invention and, compared with "A Row in Town," rather weak inventions, but the middle section is totally convincing and obviously taken from reality (K: "So it was when he got back from Sydney and, in the night of moonlight, went down the low cliff to the sand. Immediately the great rhythm and ringing of the breakers obliterated every other feeling in his breast" [329]). In fact, that passage is almost certainly a reprise of his return from Sydney the previous Wednesday (see above). However, he now adds a morning walk, taken later in the week, perhaps on Thursday or Friday morning (K: "And in the morning the yellow sea faintly crinkled by the inrushing wind from the land, and long, straight lines on the lacquered meadow, long, straight lines that reared at last in green glass, then broke in snow, and slushed softly up the sand. And in the morning the yellow sea faintly crinkled by the inrushing wind from the land, and long, straight lines on the lacquered meadow, long, straight lines that reared at last in green glass, then broke in snow, and slushed softly up the sand" [329]). This is Lawrence at his best. But note the curious repetition of "long, straight lines," repeated three times in the consecutive sentences (see below). However, now released from having to find political material, he can give his unrivalled observational and writing skills greater freedom. He ends chapter 17 with perhaps the most evocative passage in the novel, describing his walk along the shore of McCauley's Beach, almost certainly on the full-moon evening that he came back to Thirroul the previous Wednesday, July 5 (K: "Incredibly swift and far the flat rush flew at him, with foam like the hissing, open mouths of snakes. In the nearness a wave broke white and high. Then, ugh! across the intervening gulf the great lurch and swish, as the snakes rushed forward, in a hollow frost hissing at his boots. Then failed to bite, fell back hissing softly, leaving the belly of the sands granulated silver" [329]). There are two almost-identical versions of this wonderful passage in consecutive paragraphs, which Lawrence must have seen when revising the manuscript, yet left in. This is most puzzling.

MONDAY 10/7/22

Whether writing the last chapter took him two days or one or three, Lawrence almost certainly begins the final chapter, "Adieu Australia" (chapter 18) on Monday, July 10, no doubt, as is his custom, soon after breakfast (Session #33: MS pp. 540-556?, maybe 3500 words). But "Adieu Australia" was not the original name of this final chapter. An earlier chapter-heading was "Kangaroo Dies and Is Buried." On p. 540 of the MS, Lawrence crossed out these words and superimposed the published chapter name. The death and burial of Cooley, however, who is still alive in the previous chapter, is mentioned only in the first sentence of the chapter, although Harriett does refer to his death in another sentence further on. So what did Lawrence intend with his initial chapter title? The assumption is that he was originally going to talk more about Cooley and his demise. Yet he does not do that. There are several versions of the last chapter of Kangaroo. The first version, written in Thirroul starting on Monday, July 10, consists of two elements: Somers contemplating the township from a viewpoint somewhere above the town, and, secondly, a conversation with Jaz (K: "The only person that called at Coo-ee was Jaz" [347]). This initial version of chapter 18 ends with Somers's exchange with Jaz and a final sentence: "Now Jaz, goodbye. Goodbye to you, goodbye to everybody. I'm finished on this side" [K, holograph 557]). This was the original Thirroul ending of the novel. It is fairly clear where these two ingredients came from. The second element, "Sitting at the edge of the bush he looked at the settlement and the sea beyond" [342], is obviously a reprise of the start of chapter 10, "Diggers" (cf. K: "He went on till he could look over the tor's edge at the land below. There was the scalloped sea-shore, for miles, and the strip of flat coast-land" [117]). The two passages, eight chapters apart, are substantively almost identical. The second element, the conversation with Jaz, is just as clearly--initially at least--a reprise of the conversation with Jack Callcott/Jack Scott in chapter 15, "Jack Slaps Back." At one point in the exchange Lawrence actually writes "Jack" instead of "Jaz" on the MS, and has to cross it out. Lawrence even has Harriett coming out, as she does in "Jack Slaps Back," with a tea-tray, "pouring cold water" over the two men. (349). However, this second element soon moves from a reprise of "Jack Slaps Back" into Lawrence's preaching about his twin obsessions of love and "male power": "I've looked for love, howled for love. ... What I finally want is my own male power" (K, holograph 557). The last eleven paragraphs of this sermon do not even contain quotation marks, as if Lawrence had dropped any pretence that it is a conversation with Jaz, but rather a monologue with himself. However, the final, published version of this last chapter consists of much more than these two Thirroul elements, which he, nevertheless, largely retained in the final text. They comprise a description of a storm in Mullumbimby/Thirroul, yet another argument or dispute with Harriett/Frieda, a trip to Sydney to collect their visas, a sulky-ride out into the bush when the wattle was blooming, their preparations for departure, another trip to Sydney to board their steamer, and, finally, sailing down the Harbour and out into the Tasman Sea, where "It was only four days to New Zealand, over a cold, dark, inhospitable sea" (K, Secker 402). (This section was omitted from the CUP version of Kangaroo). These are the last words of the final, published version of the novel. However, they were not written in Australia, but later when Lawrence and Frieda arrived in Taos. We will address that separate writing session, perhaps best labeled Session #34, momentarily. First, however, we have to take Lawrence to his stated finishing point (as he laid out in the previously cited letter to Seltzer) four or five days later on Saturday, July 15, and his last Kangaroo writing session in Australia.

TUESDAY 11/7/22-SATURDAY 15/7/22

We have little or no information on which to base a reconstruction of what he did between Monday, when he started chapter 18, and Saturday, when he apparently throws down his pen, echoing the advice that he gave to Mollie Skinner after she had "splashed down reality" (qtd. in Pritchard 24). He may have taken his time and written more slowly than usual over these intervening days. He is no longer making any attempt to finish the MS to catch the Sonoma, which is due to leave the next day, Wednesday, for the United States. Instead, he now intends to send the MS on the Mankura, leaving a week or so later on July 20. So there was no pressing hurry, and he can indeed have taken several days to finish his text. Yet it is unlikely that he would have spun out the very thin and rehashed opening content of chapter 18 for more than one session. So we should assume that Monday, July 10, is probably his last substantive writing session on Kangaroo in Australia. Yet it would be uncharacteristic of Lawrence not to touch his manuscript for almost a week before packing it up for dispatch to America. The strong likelihood is that he spent Tuesday-Saturday revising the text. However, we have no idea what he did on what day, so we will just have to call Section #33+ MS pp. 1-559 (revision) his last writing session in Australia. That implies, given how long it apparently took, an extensive revision, unless Lawrence wrote quickly but revised slowly; one would like to know how long he later took to correct his proofs. Bruce Steele in the 1994 CUP edition of Kangaroo points out that Lawrence's revision of the MS in Thirroul (presumably starting on Tuesday, July 11) was extensive. Over half of his 559 manuscript pages have corrections or revisions. Some, clearly, were running changes. But many, if not most, seem to be later revisions, presumably done during this five-day revision period. As Steele points out, there are extended passages in chapters 8, 9, and 10 that have text crossed out and new text written above, interlinear. However, his revision could have been even more extensive. There is, as mentioned earlier, a missing chapter. Steele says it consisted of 10 leaves or 20 pages of text, perhaps more than 4000 words. The stubs of those 10 leaves give no hint of their content. One might assume, however, that it was discursive, as with the two previous chapters when Lawrence became stuck once the secret army material from Scott and Rosenthal dried up. It is also possible that their content was weak, and Lawrence eventually cut it out. Yet when might he have made this decision? One is tempted to assume this occurred between Tuesday and Saturday in mid-July. Some credence is lent to this possibility in that each chapter number after this excised section of text has also been renumbered by Lawrence, implying perhaps that he had numbered the subsequent chapters before the decision to excise what would have originally been chapter 11. For this to be correct, however, he would have had to have numbered each page after he finished the last chapter, for there is no evidence that he changed the page numbering after excising the missing chapter. It is more likely that he numbered the pages as he went along, or Frieda could hardly have told Mabel Dodge on June 20 that Lawrence had "gone at it full tilt to page 305, but has come to a stop and kicks" (4L 268). The actual excision point was four pages later, following p. 309, but, as Steele has speculated, this could be typical imprecision on Frieda's part. Additionally, there is evidence that Lawrence changed his chapter numbering before the excised chapter (Chapter 8 was originally chapter 9, etc.). All we can say is that Lawrence revised the text extensively between Tuesday, July 11, and Saturday, July 15, when, according to his later letter to Seltzer, he "finished Kangaroo" (4L 278).

SUNDAY 16/7/22-FRIDAY 11/8/22

Two further periods are germane to the composition of Kangaroo. The first is what happened between the dispatch of the MS to Mountsier in New York on the Mankura on Saturday, July 15, and Lawrence's later departure from Sydney on Friday, August 11. Several events in that period come to be part of the last chapter, as mentioned above and below. The second concern is the further revisions Lawrence made on the first typescript (TS1) in Taos in October 1922.


The revisions Lawrence makes on TS1 in Taos (resulting in TS1R) are again extensive, so much so that they necessitate a second typescript (TS2) in order for his two publishers, Secker in England and Seltzer in the United States, to have clean texts to set and print from. Most particularly he substantially changed the text of chapter 18, originally written in Thirroul, creating what he called "a new last chapter" (4L 322). This revision has led to some confusion about when and where the last chapter was written, a confusion exacerbated by the unconnected fact that the TS1 typescript of chapter 18 became detached from the rest of the holograph. We do not know when the typescript of Kangaroo arrived in Taos, nor how long it took for Lawrence to make his revisions. His letters tell us that he was still waiting for it on October 7, but that he had finished the revisions by October 16, a nine-day period (4L 322). Again, his revision of the first typescript is extensive. As Steele points out, it involved "hundreds of changes to words, phrases and occasionally sentences" (xxxvii). In some cases it involved whole paragraphs, indeed, whole pages. Steele adds: "he rewrote sections of five chapters extensively. Together they amount to some fifty pages of reworked or completely new material" (xxxviii). Steele even maintains that Lawrence regarded the MS he originally wrote in Thirroul as a rough draft, to be revised and polished later (xxxviii). That would certainly explain the extensive nature of his Taos revisions. By far the major change is in the last chapter ("I have made a new last chapter" [4L 322]). Into it he injects an account of the storm of several days that struck the coast of New South Wales on Saturday, July 23, the day the MS went off to America on the Mankura (K: "Down it came ... the wind broke in volleys from the sea, and the rain poured as if the cyclone were a great bucket of water pouring itself endlessly do" [350]). The storm, in fact the remnants of a tropical cyclone that swept down from the north further south than usual, trapped Lawrence and Frieda in Wyewurk for several days (K: "The house was like a small cave under the water. Rain poured in waves over the dark room . the water swept in, and gurgled under the doors and in at the windows. Tiles were ripped off the verandah roof with a crash, and water splashed more heavily. For the first day there was nothing to do but to sit by the fire" [350]). Their entrapment in the house leads--as seen through thoughts of Harriett--to Lawrence's expressing his negative feelings about Australia, feelings that have apparently been growing in his consciousness, and, perhaps, thoughts about evil he stumbled on in Rosenthal and Scott and their secret organisation (K: "Then gradually, through the silver glisten of the new freedom came a dull, sinister vibration...the freedom, like everything else, had two sides to it. Sometimes a heavy, reptile-hostility came off the sombre land, something gruesome and infinitely repulsive. ...It was as if the silvery freedom suddenly turned, and showed the scaly back of a reptile, and the horrible paws" [350]). This sinister presentiment, "the scaly back of a reptile, and the horrible paws" is perhaps the climactic image in the novel and Lawrence's ultimate summing up of his Australian experience. It is, however, an image somewhat lost on the editor of the Penguin edition of Kangaroo, who changed Lawrence's word "paws" to "jaws," failing to appreciate that Lawrence was referring, not to a reptile, but an anthropomorphic marsupial (K, Penguin 385). The storm lasted until Thursday, July 27 (K: "On the fourth day the wind had sunk, the rain was only thin, the dark sky was breaking" [352]), during which time the interior of Wyewurk is not a happy place. Apparently the Lawrences have invited the Forresters and Marchbanks down to Wyewurk for the following weekend, as Denis Forrester later told Edward Nehls via Fred Esch: "My memory is that we went down early in the Australian spring" (II, 158). Actually it was the weekend of July 29-30, still officially winter. They arrive by train from Sydney in time for lunch and apparently stay overnight. (Wyewurk could accommodate up to thirteen people in a pinch). On Sunday Lawrence takes them, in a car with a driver he hired for the occasion, for an excursion into the bush up Bulli Pass. The English couples may well have contributed to the cost, as Forrrester remarked that it was an expensive outing. They have a picnic lunch at Loddon Falls, and in the Forrester photo album there are snapshots of them, and the driver, in front of the Falls. Lawrence, according to Forrester, was writing something at the time, probably his translation of the Verga texts, possibly Cavelleria Rusticana: "D. H. was writing something while we were there, because there would be times when he would leave us because he had work to do" (Nehls II, 158). One of the Forrester snapshots shows Lawrence, seated on the front lawn leaning against the wall of the verandah, apparently with a notebook on his knees. The English couple no doubt go back on the evening train on Sunday. Their visit provides Lawrence with another ingredient for the final chapter that he rewrites in Taos. He describes, evocatively, a fictional sulky ride he and Harriett/Frieda take into the bush (K: "Nothing is lovelier than to drive into the Australian bush in spring" [353]). Somers/Lawrence and Harriett/ Frieda are particularly taken by the wattle, which has recently come into bloom. Lawrence calls the wattles "angel presences." After they return to Wyewurk at dusk, they deck the interior of the bungalow with wattle (K: "The flowers there in the room were like angel-presences, something out of heaven. The bush! The wonderful Australia" [356]). A day or so later they again travel to Sydney, probably on Tuesday, August 1 (K: "it was August, and spring was come, it was wattle-day in Sydney, the city full of yellow bloom of mimosa. Richard and Harriet went up to the United States Consul, to the shipping office: everything very easy" [353]). How they spend the next week or so in not known, as all the text tells us is that "in the bungalow gardens, birds flew quickly about in the sun, the morning was quick with spring, the afternoon already hot and drowsy with summer" (K 353). Then it is time to leave (K: "the day came to go: to give up the keys, and leave the lonely, bare Coo-ee to the next comers" [356]). In Sydney they cross the Harbour again, probably to see the Hums in Chatswood. We do not know where they spend their last night in Australia, but next morning they were seen off at the wharf, if the text is to believed, by two women, one of whom was probably Lillian Hum and the other may have been Dorothy Friend, the Thirroul Victoria Callcott (K: "On the last morning Victoria and Jaz's wife came to see the Somers off. The ship sailed at ten" [356]). Lawrence's description of the traditional wharf departure, with streamers being thrown by the departing passengers to their friends onshore, is the inspiration for the superb cover illustration of the Seltzer edition of Kangaroo. Lawrence describes the scene: "One by one the streamers broke and fluttered loose and fell bright and dead on the water. The slow crowd, slow as a funeral, was at the end, the far end of the quay, holding the last streamers. . The last streamers blowing away, like broken attachments, broken" (358). This is where the current edition, the 1993 CUP edition of Kangaroo ends. But that is not where Lawrence originally concluded the novel. The new text he wrote in Taos in October 1922 goes on to describe the passage down the Harbour, past Manly, out through the Heads (K: "ahead was the open gate of the harbour, the low Heads with the South Lighthouse, and the Pacific beyond, breaking white. On the left was Manly, where Harriet had lost her yellow scarf. And then the tram going to Narrabeen, where they had first seen Jaz" [K Secker 401, omitted from CUP edition]) and onward across the Tasman to New Zealand, "across a cold, dark, inhospitable sea" (K, Secker 402), those being the final words of earlier United Kingdom imprints of Kangaroo (Secker, Heinemann, Penguin, etc). Originally, however, the text went further to describe a day in Wellington, New Zealand, where inhospitable Customs officials held up Frieda, presumably because of her German ancestry. Lawrence is not pleased, describing New Zealand as "this cold, snobbish, lower middle-class colony of pretentious nobodies" (K, TS1R 476). The Taos revised text concludes with Somers and Harriett departing from Tahiti (where, in reality, an American film-crew came aboard and somewhat scandalised Lawrence with their uninhibited behavior) and Somers/Lawrence talking on deck with "an American boy" who has spent "a year or so" in Australia: "A blond, honest lad of twenty-two [called Norwood, who also] hadn't a very great opinion of Australians," comparing them unfavorably to America and Americans (K, TS1R 476A). We do not know if this passage reflects an actual meeting on the SS Tahiti, but it rings true. Curiously, the ultimate text ends on much the same note as Steele ended his CUP text, one of "broken attachments": "The ship had turned her nose straight towards America . for a moment they had been so close. Now they jerked apart again as if they had never spoken" (K, TS1R 478A). This was this ending that Lawrence sends off to Mountsier in New York in late October 1922 to be retyped as the setting texts for Secker in London and Seltzer in New York. However, it was not Lawrence's final say on the text of Kangaroo, which was published just under a year later. Some days after the revised text (TS1R) is mailed, Lawrence again changes his mind about the ending. He apparently sends a telegram from Taos to Mountsier telling him to cut the text at the "UK ending": "it was only four days to New Zealand across a cold, dark, inhospitable sea" (K, Secker 402). However, in doing so, he made a serious error, which led to the two texts, British and American, being eventually published with different endings. For instead of telling Mountsier to cut the text at the conclusion of that paragraph, he tells him to cut the text at the end of the last paragraph on TS1, page 474, for Lawrence retained in Taos a second copy of TS1. Mountsier has sent him two TS1 scripts, assuming that Lawrence would correct both, and that these would then provide the two setting texts for Secker and Seltzer. However, due to an unfortunate and inadvertent error--Lawrence's omission of p. 466 from the numbering of his retained TS1R--the two texts had variant page-numbering, and what was p. 474 in "his" TS1R is now one page earlier in what was now Mountsier's New-York TS2. This leads to the unfortunate result that the New York text was different from the Taos text, the former ending on what became the Seltzer and CUP ending: "broken attachments, broken" and the Taos text with the United Kingdom correct ending: "four days to New Zealand across a cold, dark, inhospitable sea." However, Lawrence has two further opportunities to correct this not insignificant anomaly.


The first opportunity to correct the mistake comes at Christmas 1922, when Mountsier and Seltzer come to stay with Lawrence at the Del Monte ranch outside Taos. Mountsier has brought with him the text he should have sent to Seltzer some weeks previously, relations between Lawrence's agent and his American publisher having deteriorated. Apparently the new ending is discussed and Lawrence, to what must have been his considerable dismay, discovers the cutting error. There is no time to correct this before Seltzer returns next day to New York, so Lawrence writes out the missing 375 words from "broken attachments, broken" to "cold, dark, inhospitable sea" and posts them to New York with a cover letter telling Seltzer that this is the last page that was missing from his setting text. Some eight days later Lawrence sends the same 375 words to Secker in London. Both cover letters tell his two publishers that this was the text missing from their TS2 manuscripts and asks them "not to lose it" (4L 367). At that juncture, around mid-February 1923, both the English and American TS2 texts would have been identical, both having Lawrence's intended ("cold, dark, inhospitable sea") ending. Indeed, this is the text that Lawrence finally corrects in proof form five months later in New Jersey, when he received two sets of proofs from Seltzer for his final corrections. This is his last chance to correct the anomaly of the variant endings. However, the ending on both sets of proofs Lawrence has in front of him in New Jersey is correct, so he notices nothing amiss, and the proofs go off to their respective publishers to be converted into first editions. Unfortunately, however, unbeknown to anyone, the readers at Seltzer's printing plant mistake the cover letter Lawrence had attached to the last page that he sent to Seltzer in January, with its superscription "end of Kangaroo," not as the wording on a cover letter, but as an instruction under some typewritten text. So they cut the next handwritten 375 words from the printed text, reinstating the original cutting error, thus ensuring that the variant endings are the ones finally published. Secker's printers do not make this checking error. Hence the Seltzer edition ends with "broken attachments, broken." (The American printers added the "missing" period, while the Secker edition adds the final word "heartstrings" and the original punctuation of the sentence, and continues with Lawrence's intended final words: "It was only four days across a cold, dark, inhospitable sea."


Lawrence, seemingly, never read the Seltzer edition, for as far as we know he never made any comment about the different endings, which have, unfortunately, been mistakenly repeated and perpetuated in the current CUP edition due to, ironically, yet another, and it is to be hoped final editing error. Nevertheless, the CUP edition has at least restored Lawrence's final proof corrections, which Secker failed to incorporate in his edition, the main circulating edition from 1923 to 1993. Yet the final, but perhaps not inappropriate irony is that the entire CUP re-editing project was based on the anomaly of the English and American variant endings of Kangaroo, as the original editor of the CUP editions, Warren Roberts, points out in the early 1970s, when arguing for the CUP project: "Kangaroo and Women in Love are textually complicated books, and the texts differ in the various editions. Kangaroo, I think, is perhaps more complicated than Women in Love. ... I don't think there is now a text of Kangaroo in print anywhere with the text he really wanted" (165).

And, irony of ironies--more than 70 years later--this is still the case.


Please note that my research diary, covering 26 years of exploration into Lawrence's experiences in Australia, is available at <http://www.>.

1. "The Garage" was the name that members of the secret army gave to their organization (which had no actual name). The name reflected its main means of mobilization.

2. The whereabouts of this photograph is not known. Keith Sagar, however, confirms its existence.

Works Cited

Aldington, Richard. Introduction to Kangaroo. Heinemann 1955 Edition. Nehls, Edward, ed. D. H. Lawrence: A Composite Biography. Madison: U of

Wisconsin P, 1958.

Lawrence, D. H. Kangaroo. 1923. Ed. Bruce Steele. Cambridge: CUP, 1994.

-. Kangaroo. London: Martin Secker, 1923.

--. Kangaroo. New York: Thomas Selzer, 1923.

--. Kangaroo. 1923. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1950.

--. Kangaroo. 1923. London: Heinemann, 1955.

--. Kangaroo. First Typescript (TS1). 1922. Berg Collection. New York Public Library.

--. Kangaroo. First Typescript Revised (TS1R). 1922. Berg Collection.

--. Kangaroo. Second Typescript (TS2). 1922. Berg Collection.

--. Kangaroo. Holograph Manuscript. 1922. Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Texas.

--. The Letters of D. H. Lawrence. Vol. 4. Ed. Warren Roberts, James T. Boulton, and Elizabeth Mansfield. Cambridge: CUP, 2002.

--. The Letters of D. H. Lawrence. Vol. 5. Ed. James T. Boulton and Lindeth Vasey. Cambridge: CUP, 2003.

Lindsay, Jack. The Roaring Twenties. London: Bodely Head, 1960.

Steele, Bruce. Introduction to Kangaroo. CUP 1994 Edition.

Taylor, George A. The Sequel: What the Great War Will Mean to Australia. Sydney: Building Ltd., 1915.

Robert Darroch, president of the D. H. Lawrence Society of Australia, is author of D.H. Lawrence in Australia.
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Author:Darroch, Robert
Publication:D.H. Lawrence Review
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Mar 22, 2013
Previous Article:Rachel Gilmour and Bill Schwarz, eds. End of Empire and the English Novel since 1945.

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