D.H. Lawrence

Ben   Tuesday, April 20, 2004, 15:36 GMT
This is a very random, weird topic that nobody will probably be able to answer, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

Does anybody have any idea how D.H. Lawrence would have spoken? He was raised and educated in Nottinghamshire, but I somehow doubt he would have had a strong midlands accent. He was well schooled, but again, in the midlands rather than Oxford or London. Would he have spoken RP? Or some combination of the two?
Konrad Valentin   Tuesday, April 20, 2004, 18:49 GMT
He came from a working-class background and spoke non-standard Midlands dialect. This is why representations of working-class speech in his novels are so accurate. Because of his schooling (I believe he attended grammar school), he would also have been familiar with RP. It therefore seems probable that he was able to code-switch between non-standard and standard dialects.
Jim   Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 05:35 GMT
I place no faith in the concept of a "standard" dialect. There are dialects, none better than any other.
Simon   Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 08:46 GMT
But Jim England and certainly Lawrence's England had a standard.
Konrad Valentin   Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 09:56 GMT

I couldn't agree more. Standard English is an abstract concept at best.
Simon   Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 09:58 GMT
Yes but we are talking about Lawrence who existed within a certain reality. And as a teacher, he was certainly aware of a standard.