Visit to D.H. Lawrence Ranch

Last week, Lulubelle and I visited the D.H. Ranch near the top of Lobo Mountain at 8,600 feet. The afternoon excursion, 20 miles northwest of Taos, was part of the 16th Annual Taos Summer Writers Conference. D.H. Lawrence authored such works as Women in Love and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

He and wife Frieda were invited to the ranch in the fall of 1922 by New York socialite Mabel Dodge Luhan, who lived in Taos. He wrote of his first trip “I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had. It certainly changed me forever…”

The Kiowa Ranch was given to D.H. Lawrence and Frieda not for a song, but one of his original manuscripts. In 1924, the Lawrence’s and artist Lady Brett, the Earl of Esher’s daughter, moved there. If the story sounds like something out of PBS Downton Abbey, it might very well be.

From the ranch, on a small table under a giant Ponderosa Pine, he wrote St. Mawr, and parts of David, The Plumed Serpent, and The Woman Who Ran Away.

Years later, artist Georgia O’Keefe lay on her back looking up from a long pine bench, to paint the branches of The Lawrence Tree, which is now owned by the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut.

The 160 acre ranch was willed to the University of New Mexico by Frieda in 1955.

David and Lulubelle - Lawrence Tree

David and Lulubelle near the Lawrence Tree

 

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