The Novelist’s Wife: A Literary Romance

Marianna Torgovnick
The Modernist Press
2015

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, Torgovnick, writing under her pen name Sasha Bristol, reimagines a great modern love story: D.H. and Frieda Lawrence behind closed doors. Torgovnick, a professor of English, wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education that the novel required her “to imagine a couple mutually dependent and very much in love but subjected to intense stresses …”

Frieda Weekley felt trapped in a loveless marriage—until she met D.H. Lawrence. After a passionate courtship, they eloped and she became his muse and collaborator but experienced heartbreak when the law allowed her first husband to keep their three young children. As Frieda traveled the world, she met famous artists, including Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Alfred Stieglitz, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Profoundly in love, she shouldered Lawrence’s complicated relationships with John Middleton Murry and others who minimized, and even derided, her influence on his work.

As the novelist’s wife, Frieda attracted intense speculation when her husband became known as “the prophet of sex.” Meanwhile, behind the scenes, his health deteriorated drastically—and Frieda stayed by his side. Widely thought to be the model for many of her husband’s characters, including the famous Lady Chatterley, Frieda’s tale reveals secret betrayal at the core of her husband’s most notorious book. 

The Novelist’s Wife: A Literary Romance