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side, but South Wind was his great triumph. He had been eased
out of the British diplomatic service because of his homosexual
activities, but what appeared before me was a handsome, silverhaired
gentleman, who couldn't have been more charming. We had
dinner together and got along famously. He introduced me to
an Italian publisher who was publishing Mr. Lawrence's brand new
Lady Chatterley's Lover in a special edition in Florence, and I
subscribed to a copy. I made my check out to Mr. D. H. Lawrence
so that when the check came back it was autographed by Lawrence.
Do you still have it?
I'll show it to you upstairs. I pasted it into the book.
This is the first limited edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Norman Douglas also introduced me to Reginald Turner, a great
friend of Oscar Wilde, who was spending his last days in Florence.
I'll never forget that night when I left Norman Douglas.
I was 30, and Douglas said, “I'm sure you won't want to spend
the night alone, Bennett. I can get you either a beautiful girl
or a beautiful boy. Which do you want?" I chose to go to bed
alone. He was planning my whole next day for me, and I said,
“Now, wait a minute.” We were now in a first name basis. “Tomorrow
I'm scheduled to meet Mr. D. H. Lawrence.” At this time
Douglas and Lawrence were not speaking. They had had a terrible
fight a year before over an introduction one of them had written
for a book, and they weren't talking to each other. I can still
hear Douglas saying, “What do you want to waste your time with
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