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‘The great relationship, for humanity, will always be the relation between man and woman”1:
Evolutionary Considerations of D. H. Lawrence.2

James M. Phelps

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  • 1 “Morality and the Novel” (1925) (STH 175).
  • 2 I would like to dedicate this paper to my late father, Abel Phelps, who loved the human story, and (...)

1In the opening paragraph of “First Glimmerings of Mind,” Chapter VI of Fantasia of the Unconscious, Lawrence writes: “The final aim is not to know, but to be. There never was a more risky motto than that: Know thyself. You’ve got to know yourself as far as possible. But not just for the sake of knowing. You’ve got to know yourself so that you can at last be yourself. ‘Be Yourself’ is the last motto” (FU 105).

  • 3 I develop this metaphor, derived from Lawrence’s statement “my theme is carbon” (L2 183), in the ar (...)
  • 4 Antonio Damasio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (New York: Putnam, 1994) an (...)
  • 5 George Lakoff and Mark Johnson Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1980), and (...)

2This is surely one of the pithiest summations of Lawrence’s “philosophy” as one could find. Interpreting this in modern neuroscientific terms shows how remarkably, in numbers of ways, Lawrence’s psychological philosophy is compatible with it, and especially respecting the way he depicts the deepest, carboniferous3 levels of his characters and their actions. One could say that Lawrence identifies knowing with the object-forming faculty of the brain, and being with the subject-forming faculty and renders this in his fiction. As neuroscientist Antonio Damasio demonstrates in his revelatory books Descartes’ Error and Looking for Spinoza,4 the fullest flourishing of our being entails the brain’s most complex integrating, coordinating, regulating, and harmonising of objective and subjective perception. The work of embodied cognition philosophers George Lakoff and Mark Johnson5 shows how a full knowing of the way the brain makes reason results in the comprehension of our seamless material continuity with the inclusive universe. These authors and their work make substantial contributions to the expanding implications of the neo-Darwinian revolution. My view is that Lawrence has a continuing and vital contribution to make to the human future, but that in order for this best to happen, new critical and scholarly work needs to be done to relate him to the neo-Darwinian intellectual world we live in.

3Every branch of anthropological and psychological study finds great significance in the centrality of the woman-man relationship and the family nucleus that ensues from it. Evolutionary psychology also emphasises these elements. Our species having evolved to the cognitive capacity of the large, multipart brains we have, has resulted in the longest parental investment of any species in bringing offspring to maturity. This is related not simply to the individual child’s physical and mental development, but also to educating for the complicated needs and challenges required for social integration, Homo sapiens being the most complexly social of all animals. Our genetically-driven sociality directs us to be culture creating creatures as it is essential to our strategies for survival and reproduction.

4To put this into context a brief synopsis of the history of our species derived from recent genetic research is in order. We emerged in Africa as a new species between 200 and 180 thousand years ago. About 70 thousand years ago a small group of Africans from the Ethiopian region crossed the Red Sea into southern Arabia. This small group are the ancestors of all the post-African human lineages that spread in the following millennia across the rest of the world. All this time, both within and after Africa, our ancestors lived in small, roughly 50-sized, hunter-gatherer bands, with a division of labour, the women predominantly as specialised, cooperative gatherers, and the men predominantly as specialised, cooperative hunters. Social cooperation was a key to our success.

5Then a massive revolution occurred some 10 thousand years ago—the domestication revolution—when plants and animals were domesticated. It makes most sense from what we know of their specializations that women discovered how to domesticate plants, and men how to domesticate animals. Not only the animals and plants were domesticated, however: we became domesticated too, gradually leaving behind our wilder lives in the uncontrolled natural environment. As we became specialised farmers and herders, and increasingly, urban dwellers, we gradually gave up forever the hunter-gatherer phase which had marked 95 per cent of our history. It is not surprising therefore, when we consider ourselves from the perspective of evolution, that we look particularly to the long hunter-gatherer phase of our history, and to the primates and earlier members of the genus Homo, for insights. This long phase was when we evolved into who we are. Despite all the changes the domestication revolution introduced, the man-woman relationship continued as the core of the family unit, so consideration of it remains central. Even after the much more recent industrial revolution, the woman-man nuclear family retained centrality. But as Lawrence and others have shown, this most recent phase of human social development has brought severe pressure to bear on the primordial woman-man relationship and family nucleus. Today the family unit continues, but signs of disintegration are there for all to see—the high incidence of divorce, the late onset or even avoidance of marriage altogether, single parenting, declining birth rates, spouse and child abuse, and so on.

6By looking through the prism of evolutionary psychology at Lawrence’s own personal life story, and to the way this found creative expression in his work, I hope to enrich our understanding of both. He recognised the relationship of his parents, and the consequences of this for the upbringing of their children, particularly the sons, had representative significance. Indeed, from the time of the publication of Sons and Lovers it was acknowledged that it uniquely combined deep, individual psychological insight and inside knowledge of working class home and community life with broad socio-economic and historical significance.

7Let me start with evolutionary considerations of the parental relationship, and to do so I’ll quote in full the paragraph from which I extracted a sentence for my paper’s title: “The great relationship, for humanity, will always be the relation between man and woman. The relation between man and man, and woman and woman, parent and child, will always be subsidiary” (STH 175).

  • 6 Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The Abridged Edition (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1980), 156.

8In obvious ways Lawrence is correct here. The evolutionary history of sexual dimorphism goes back hundreds of millions of years and is expressed through countless species. As Edward O. Wilson explains, “To diversify is to adapt; sexually reproducing populations are more likely than asexual ones to create new genetic combinations better adjusted to changed conditions in the environment.”6 Reproduction through combining the genes of two sexes has proved the evolutionary test of time, and so how it works out for humankind is of fundamental importance. However, when Lawrence says that the other relationships are “subsidiary” he is less accurate. Rather we would say they are supplementary or co-determinant, because humans are, crucially, social beings. The parents and the offspring are the nucleus, but the cooperative community of men and men, women and women, and women and men together, and of the other children being nurtured in the group, are vital.

  • 7 Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution (New York: Bloomsbury, 2009), (...)
  • 8 Wilson, 39, and (citing the research of J. Sherpher), 344.
  • 9 Dutton, 89.

9At this point I turn to discussion of the Westermarck effect. Edward A. Westermarck was a nineteenth-century anthropologist who researched the interplay between instinct and culture, with specific reference to incest avoidance.7 Inbreeding is generally harmful for all sexually dimorphic species, particularly the more advanced, and as a result natural selection has found genetic and behavioural mechanisms that deter it. Consequently incest avoidance is widely prevalent, and is so in humankind. Empirical evidence for the Westermarck effect is advanced from various sources. For example, research has discovered that children who grow up together in Israeli kibbutzim tend not to marry, while those that do are more likely to divorce than those who marry outgroup strangers.8 In China, “a study has shown that when a little girl goes to live in the house of her intended husband, a little boy of a similar age, the failure rate of the subsequent marriage is much higher than with marriages that are arranged in adolescence or later.”9 Incest taboos, universal in all human societies, may be interpreted thus as cultural reinforcements of instinctual predispositions.

  • 10 Roy Spencer, D. H. Lawrence Country (London: Cecil Woolf, 1980), 11.

10The marriage of Arthur Lawrence and Lydia Beardsall has been much written about, most notably by Lawrence himself in Sons and Lovers, but family memoirists, local friends, and numerous biographers have all contributed. Roy Spencer, of a mining family in Eastwood, writes one of the most inwardly knowledgeable short accounts by a local in his D. H. Lawrence Country. He sums up their attraction, and their difference, like this: Arthur “belonged to the countryside. His wife, on the other hand, was a ‘townie.’”10 This is an important distinction. The choice of strangers evidenced by both Arthur and Lydia, indicates fitness in terms of the Westermarck effect. It is reinforced by the elevation of their passions. What we call “falling in love” from the psychological and cultural perspective, in evolutionary terms is described as pair bonding, which serves primarily to ensure the cooperative rearing of offspring, particularly relevant to humankind for the long period of nurturing to maturity. The lack of personal fulfilment, particularly for Lydia, which I take up next, is more than countered by the successful fertility of the marriage, with five children over a number of years, three of whom married successfully producing grandchildren, which is a key marker of genetic success. An important observation relevant to the accomplishment of the marriage was given in personal conversation with Peggy Needham, Lawrence’s niece, daughter of his elder sister Emily. Once in a discussion during our friendship she commented to me that, in the family, it was felt that Lawrence had exaggerated the discord between his mother and father. The family considered that Arthur and Lydia were more compatible as a couple than has generally been conceived as a result of the fictional portrayal. Though this might be taken as merely a sign of family loyalty, it cannot be dismissed out of hand.

  • 11 Neil Roberts first put this phrase into print acknowledging it to me, see his D. H. Lawrence, Trave (...)
  • 12 Spencer, 61.

11Nonetheless, I of course do not discount the obvious evidence of Arthur and Lydia’s discontent and discord. But we should qualify it as Lawrence himself does, especially as evidence of the industrial revolution’s disruptive social effects upon the man-woman relationship and family unit. He, we know, develops this theme much more fully in The Rainbow and Women in Love. Concurrent with the effects of mass urbanisation and class fragmentation and multiplication was the wave of democratic individualism and women’s emancipation. This accentuated and accelerated the individuation of each person’s unique psychological potential, rooted in, and made possible by, the cognitive capacity of the human brain, which had evolved to drive and to serve our species’ sexually dimorphic sociality. This industrialising, urbanising revolution was a centrifugal process that released the immense potential of the individual, but at a cost. Simultaneous with the differentiated, individualised absorption and appropriation of increasingly diversified cultural and ideological environments, magnified by the residential fluidity of mobile urban populations, was the atomisation of the close family and small scale human community. So, while the positives ensuing from Arthur and Lydia’s pair-bonded strangeness provided enduring fitness in evolutionary terms, their differentiated individual, culturally influenced mind-sets partially counteracted it. Arthur, the aboriginal Englishman11 who was happy in his community identity, who Spencer aptly describes as having a “penchant for pleasing himself,”12 and Lydia, the winning young woman with blue eyes, fair hair and superior speech, were enraptured by each other’s glamorous strangeness, yet, as time began to tell, their relationship was threatened by it. The contrast between the overlays of their familial and culturally acquired outlooks—Arthur easy-going and unselfconscious, and Lydia an ingrained tea-totalling Wesleyan—caused battles between them.

12I turn now to Lawrence’s own passage from pre- and post-adolescence to the eventual establishment of his sexually mature relationship with Frieda.

13There is a notable contrast between the descriptions of the first meeting of Paul and Miriam in Paul Morel and in Sons and Lovers. In Paul Morel there is a clear emphasis on their both being children. Here is how they meet:

“Do you know the child?” interrupted Mrs Staynes [Miriam’s mother][ . . .]
“It is Paul Morel [. . .]”
“He is cold, poor child.” said Mrs Staynes [. . .]
“Miriam!” declaimed Mr Staynes, calling attention by his tone, “I’m sure you will say to that little boy, “would you care to have a ride with me, and to warm yourself under my warm rug.”[….]
[. . . ]Miss May lifted him gently into the chair. He shrank away from Miriam, who leaned over him, conferring her tender young patronage, offering a biscuit.
[Soon after this] “My nice rug will soon warm you,” [Miriam] said, with lavish childish tenderness,” from which he “shrank away.” (PM 24-5)

14The assumption by the adults and the two children themselves is that they are children, clearly pre-adolescent. Miriam is called upon to behave in a sisterly, if not maternal, manner. Paul acts as a shy little brother. The development of the early years of the family friendship between Mrs and Paul Morel with the Stayneses — the parents and the sisters and brothers as a whole — shows clearly that the respective adults and children behaved like an extended family.

  • 13 Jessie Chambers “ET,” D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record, second edition edited by J. D. Chambers (L (...)
  • 14 Chambers, 229.

15Jessie Chambers’ first recollection comes from their time as children in Sunday School “the boys on one side [. . .], the girls on the other [. . .] when a fair boy [Lawrence] of about eleven mounted the platform.”13 Jessie’s sister, May, opens her “Some Memories of D. H. Lawrence” with the words “Bert was ten when I first went to his home.”14

16Even in Sons and Lovers, where the first meeting is pictured as more formal, they are presented as pre-adolescent. Miriam is described as a “girl” and Lawrence soon after meeting her is far happier in the company of her brothers, boys of “twelve and thirteen” (SL 155). From the beginning, Jessie was established as an extended sister to Lawrence, while he in turn was an extended brother.

17In a more extensive discussion I am confident additional supporting evidence could be found for their sister-brother-like bond, as associated with the Westermarck effect, and how this points to what prevented their ever finding a consummating relationship.

18Volumes have been written about Lawrence’s relationship with Jessie—and they enrich our picture of Lawrence’s struggle to break free from the involuted complex of motherly-sisterly women—but not one I know of has looked at it in evolutionary terms, or considered the applicability of the Westermarck effect as relevant to it. Lawrence was himself not afraid of realizing the instinctual in the human, indeed he valorised it, but have we, in Lawrence scholarship, not been blind to it in his own story?

19Though the case for adducing the Westermarck effect as figuring in Lawrence’s failed relation with Louie Burroughs, and perhaps others, is less strong, I consider it fair to say it had a telling after-effect, because of the strength of his socialisation in the entwined, extended families of his youth, and their close church community. Though Louie did appeal to him sexually, she fitted more strongly, through their youthfully socialised affinities, into the pattern of the intimate extended family community, a throwback, may I suggest, to sisters and female cousins in a hunter-gatherer band. The deeply implanted instinct of incest avoidance reinforced by cultural taboo appears to have deflected his, and her, desire.

20In contrast, Alice Dax was beyond the sisterly pale. Alice was a married woman, however, which introduced a different kind of restraint. Nonetheless, with her the primary trigger was that she was in herself, for Lawrence, an unencumbered female other, an untrammelled erotic stranger. Sexual intercourse was consummated between him and Alice (in Spring 1911), though it did not lead to a permanent relationship. We may say she was nonetheless an erotic initiator in Lawrence’s sexual maturation.

21The main argument of this paper has been to establish the Westermarckian and evolutionary issues relating to Lawrence’s parents relationship, and his early failed relationships, particularly with Jessie.

22There is no doubt that Frieda was a stranger to Lawrence, the erotically alluring other par excellence, and that he, with his vital presence, passionate articulacy and intensity was the same for her. But how do we weigh up their strangeness beside her existing pair-bonded marriage, reinforced by its accompanying offspring?

  • 15 James M. Phelps, “The Interloper in the Short Fiction of D. H. Lawrence.” Diss. MA, University of N (...)

23I have examined in my graduate research, in a consideration of Lawrence’s own life, and through his recurrent deployment of the interloper plot,15 the interloper as the most radical manifestation of the sexual stranger. However, at the time I was myself unaware of the evolutionary implications of this. I would like now to make some amends and propose that the interloper is a variation in the pattern of the naturally selected, incest-avoiding appeal of the stranger.

24The hunter-gatherer band was a close knit community of parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, and their offspring. In the extremely close communities they lived in, and based on the vital importance of harmonious cooperation between all to ensure survival, the disruption that could be caused by an interloper threatening a marital relationship would be both instinctually and culturally inhibited. To cap this, we must remember the powerful evolutionary drive for pair-bonding. Coupled to pair-bonding is jealousy. The woman will not give up her supportive partner easily, so vital is it for the survival of the offspring, and the man will oppose devoting his energies to the support of another man’s child.

25Genetic variation was accomplished through the universal practice of exogamy, the pair-bonding occurring between strangers from neighbouring or more distant bands. Outgroup mating is an evolutionary norm within the order of mammalians. The strongest drive was to bond between strangers who were nonetheless socialised in the similar hunter-gatherer communities. But in our species this exogamous bond though the norm, might not always work out well. The occasional abandoning of spouses is on record as occurring in remnant hunter-gatherer bands, for example, the San-Bushman of southern Africa. Fidelity is the rule, but breaking up is not without precedent. Though I suggest that unhappy and emotionally unfulfilling marriages are more prevalent in our own atomised age, as discussed in the context of Arthur and Lydia’s marriage above, they can be envisaged as occasional in our primordial past as well. In these circumstances the interloper could introduce new possibilities for genetic success. It is within the ambit of this evolutionary drama that I advance the view that on that March day in Nottingham in 1912, when Lawrence went to consult with Professor Earnest Weekley and met his wife instead, the interloper was Lawrence himself.

26Frieda was undoubtedly an unusual woman. Endowed with a sexually adventurous energy, stimulated by competition between herself and her sisters, and exposed to the sexually experimental and permissive world of early twentieth century Munich, she became embroiled in unconventional sexual relations. After the early child-bearing years of her marriage in Nottingham, she continued to have extra-marital affairs, and was involved in one at the time of meeting Lawrence.

27The conflict that ensued between Frieda’s attachment to her children, and Lawrence’s demand for exclusive commitment to himself, pitted two deep instinctual imperatives against each other. That the profound repercussions let loose in Lawrence’s brain by the influx of oxytocin, the pair-bonding hormone, once he had achieved his first, fully launched sexual engagement, ultimately prevailed over Frieda’s desperate longing for her children, presents a challenging evolutionary, as well personal and cultural puzzle. However, it should be added that in the primordial hunter-gatherer context the conflict between Lawrence and Weekley, and with Frieda’s bond with her three children would be nearly impossible. All we can say is that in evolutionary terms, in a more likely, modified scenario, given the stark choices between the new and old partners, if there was perhaps a single offspring of the old, this could perhaps be passed on to the band, or sacrificed, if the new one had the capacity to enforce his demands. The point is that in Lawrence and Frieda’s involvement there was deep conflict between two anciently evolved instincts, and its outcome emerged in the modern context where child custody issues were resolved in legal terms.

28I shall end with a brief comment on an important observation Lawrence made in A Propos of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and his poem “Fidelity.” In the essay there is this:

All the literature in the world shows the prostitute’s ultimate impotence in sex, her inability to keep a man, her rage against the profound instinct of fidelity in a man, which is, as shown by world history, just a little deeper and more powerful than his instinct of faithless sexual promiscuity. All the literature of the world shows how profound is the instinct of fidelity in both man and woman, how men and women both hanker restlessly after the satisfaction of this instinct, and fret at their own inability to find the real mode of fidelity. The instinct of fidelity is perhaps the deepest instinct in the great complex we call sex. Where there is real sex there is the underlying passion for fidelity. (LCL 318-9)

My impression is that the neuroscientists and evolutionary psychologists investigating the causes, advantages and consequences of long term pair bonding and the effects of oxytocin in the brain would endorse Lawrence here. Written at the the same period as the essay, the fine poem “Fidelity,” differentiates between love, compared metaphorically with a flower, “a little torrent of life,” and fidelity, compared metaphorically with a gem, which “seems to last forever” (P1 413).

29I suppose there will always be some ambiguity about the essential nature of Frieda, but after her promiscuous early years she did settle into fidelity to Lawrence, and even after the abortive later fling with John Middleton Murry, and then the beginnings of her affair with Angelo Ravagli, she remained faithful to Lawrence in spirit for the rest of her life, as she did with Ravagli himself thereafter. Once Lawrence had found Frieda he cleaved to her tenaciously. The one momentary affair he had with Rosalind Baynes in September 1920 was not some casual fling but a serious if momentary engagement that might have had longer term potential in it, but could not ultimately displace his far deeper bond with Frieda.

30Numbers of scholars have explored the theme of Lawrence and Darwin. In the above I have reversed this, looking at Darwin and Lawrence, briefly arguing that an evolutionary perspective of Lawrence’s parental relationship, his own family and community nurturing, his adolescent transition, and eventual bonding with Frieda, enlarges our insight into his great theme: the interplay in the modern individual between emotion and intellect, instinct and culture.

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Chambers, “ET,” Jessie. D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record, second edition edited by J. D. Chambers. London: Frank Cass, 1965.

Damassio, Antonio. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: Putnam, 1994.

---. Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. New York: Harcourt, 2003.

de Filippis, Simonetta, ed. New Theoretical Perspectives and Cultural Translation. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.

Dutton, Denis. The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009.

Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1980.

---. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books, 1999.

Lawrence, D. H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, edited my Michael Squires. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

---. The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, vol. 2, edited by George J. Zytaruk and James T. Boulton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.

---. Paul Morel, edited by Helen Baron. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

---. The Poems, vol. 1, edited by Christopher Pollnitz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

---. Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious, edited by Bruce Steele. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

---. Sons and Lovers, edited by Carl Baron and Helen Baron. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

---. Study of Thomas Hardy, edited by Bruce Steele. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Phelps, Abel. Sunshine and Shadows: A Collection of South African Short Stories. Empangeni: Echoing Green Press, 2004.

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1 “Morality and the Novel” (1925) (STH 175).

2 I would like to dedicate this paper to my late father, Abel Phelps, who loved the human story, and was a fine short story writer himself (Abel Phelps, Sunshine and Shadows: A Collection of South African Short Stories, Empangeni: Echoing Green Press, 2004). He was also deeply absorbed by evolution and its implications. He stimulated my friend Jeffrey Robinson to explore Darwinian ideas, which indirectly contributed to his pioneering doctoral thesis “Darwinizing the Philosophy of Music Education” (University of KwaZulu, Natal, 2011). I am indebted particularly to Robinson’s extensive bibliography on the relation of neo-Darwinian thought to the humanities.

3 I develop this metaphor, derived from Lawrence’s statement “my theme is carbon” (L2 183), in the article “‘Flesh cometh only out of flesh’: Darwinian Considerations of D. H. Lawrence,” in New Theoretical Perspectives and Cultural Translation, ed. Simonetta de Filippis, (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016).

4 Antonio Damasio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (New York: Putnam, 1994) and Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (New York: Harcourt, 2003).

5 George Lakoff and Mark Johnson Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1980), and Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought (New York: Basic Books, 1999).

6 Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The Abridged Edition (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1980), 156.

7 Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution (New York: Bloomsbury, 2009), 89.

8 Wilson, 39, and (citing the research of J. Sherpher), 344.

9 Dutton, 89.

10 Roy Spencer, D. H. Lawrence Country (London: Cecil Woolf, 1980), 11.

11 Neil Roberts first put this phrase into print acknowledging it to me, see his D. H. Lawrence, Travel and Cultural Difference (Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004), 30, and (footnote 84), 173.

12 Spencer, 61.

13 Jessie Chambers “ET,” D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record, second edition edited by J. D. Chambers (London: Frank Cass, 1965), 15.

14 Chambers, 229.

15 James M. Phelps, “The Interloper in the Short Fiction of D. H. Lawrence.” Diss. MA, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 1990; “The Interloper Plot in the Novels and Other Works of D. H. Lawrence.” Diss. DPhil, University of York, 1997.

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James M. Phelps, « ‘The great relationship, for humanity, will always be the relation between man and woman”:
Evolutionary Considerations of D. H. Lawrence.
Études Lawrenciennes [En ligne], 49 | 2019, mis en ligne le 29 mars 2019, consulté le 29 septembre 2020. URL :; DOI:

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James M. Phelps

James Phelps was awarded a doctorate at the University of York, United Kingdom, in 1997 for his thesis The Interloper Plot in the Novels and Other Works of D. H. Lawrence. He edited with Nigel Bell D. H. Lawrence around the World: South African Perspectives (2007).  Retired after twenty-five years in the Department of English, University of Zululand, in July 2008, and thereafter became a Research Fellow in the department having relocated to live in Fish Hoek in the Western Cape, South Africa. His currentresearch interests: Lawrence and Darwin, and evolutionary psychology, and neuroscience.

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