I do believe the root of all my sickness is a sort of rage,” D.H. Lawrence wrote during the last months of his life to the poet Wytter Bynner. Whether true or not in a literal sense, for Lawrence’s health always was delicate, it was rage and encroaching illness that colored the writer’s last decade.
About halfway through the decade, the progress of Lawrence’s tuberculosis became impossible to deny. He had long refused to admit any such thing, disliking doctors and willfully putting his bouts of chest trouble down to causes of a more trivial nature. Now, his and Frieda’s travels became a search for settings advantageous to the writer’s health.
In the course of his decline, Lawrence’s rage subsided, and he lost his need to remake the world. He kept busy with his letter writing, poetry composition and the journalism at which he had found he could make money easily. Pursuit of sunshine and warmth brought him to Bandol and, after a fruitless month in a sanatorium, to Vence. The Aldous Huxleys and Frieda were with him, by then weighing 85 pounds, when the end came.
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