On this day (Nov. 2) in 1960, Penguin Books was acquitted in an obscenity trial that befell it after publishing an uncensored editiontion of D.H. Lawrence’s novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” The book had originally been published in English in a limited run in the late1920s, about two years before Lawrence died in 1930.
“Lady Chatterley’s Lover” details the affair between a wealthy landowner’s wife and the estate’s gamekeeper. Its frank depiction of sex scandalized a surprising amount of the developed world in the mid-20th century, and today is noted as an important moment in the sexual revolution that swept the Western Hemisphere in those decades.
On Nov. 4, 1948, a differently controversial figure in English-language literature was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contributions to the field. That man was T.S. Eliot, a poet, essayist and publisher best known for his seminal verses in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land.”
There is perhaps no 20thcentury poet more influential than Eliot, whose fractured, haunting images made up what some in his time called a new kind of poetry. His final, most famous lines in “The Hollow Men” — “This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper” — still echo in contemporary pop culture.
The Nobel Prize in 1948 came at a high point in his public perception, several years after the publication of his “Four Quartets,” which is often considered his last great work.
Our last literary historical event this week comes to us from 1893, when Willa Cather started writing for the Nebraska State Journal. According to history. com, the then 19-year-old Cather’s first column was published on Nov. 5.
This should be remembered as one of the first publications for a writer that would go on to write more than 10 novels, several of them considered masterpieces.p Books like “My y Ántonia,” which was pub - lished in 1918, established her place among the ranks of the day’s more respected novelists. In 1923, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1922 novel “One of Ours,” which chronicles the life of a Nebraska native near the turn of the century.
Moving on to politically important historical events — Abraham Lincoln was elected president on Nov. 6, 1860.
Lincoln, the first U.S. president to be elected from the fledgling Republican Party, received only 40 percent of the popular vote, but won partially due to a divided Democratic Party. He had previously been a Whig representative to Congress.
In his 1858 U.S. Senate race against Stephen Douglas, he grew into a national name for a series of public debates between the two regarding slavery. Lincoln argued against the spread of slavery; Douglas believed every state should have the right to choose whether it would be free or slave.
After becoming the 16th U.S. president, Lincoln would go on to lead the country through its Civil War. In 1865, after the end of the war, he was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., by Con- federate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth.
On Nov. 8, 1994, the Republican Party won control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time in 40 years. Georgia Representative Newt Gingrich led the charge as party leaders joined forces under the “Contract with America,” which sought to reduce taxes, balance the budget and dismantle social welfare programs.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives passed just about every bill incorporated in the “Contract with America,” in the first 100 days of Congress.