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The choice of Lady Chatterley's Lover as the first novel to be prosecuted under the new Obscene Publications Act was a shock to most lovers of English literature. Some of its language was a shock to the Court, which, unlike the jury, never really got used to it.
The immense weight of expert evidence as to the novel's literary excellence and moral purpose was a palpable shock to the prosecution. And the final, unequivocal 'Not Guilty' verdict was a shock, mainly one of pleasure and relief, to lovers "both of English literature and moral sanity. For it was not just a legal tussle, but a conflict of generation and class.
This account of the historic trial and acquittal of Penguin Books is taken from the official Old Bailey transcript of evidence and the speeches - probably the most thorough and expensive seminar on Lawrence's work ever given.