The Quest for Cooley is the story of the 40-year search for the identity of the real-life person that DH Lawrence portrayed as the Australian political leader Benjamin Cooley in his 1923 Australian novel, Kangaroo. Through his intensive research, in Australia and overseas, Robert Darroch, a former investigative journalist on The Bulletin, discovered that Lawrence ran across an actual secret army in Sydney in 1922, and unmasked it in his novel of Australia. This is a story that many people and interests have tried to prevent coming out. It exposes the fascist underbelly – what Lawrence called “the horrible paws”– of post-WW1 Australian society and politics.
This is the first volume of his Lawrence’s 99 Days in Australia, which tells the story of how the 20th-century’s most controversial author came to write his most surprising work of “fiction”.
ROBERT DARROCH is the President of the DH Lawrence Society of Australia and is a journalist, writer and Internet practitioner. His first book about Lawrence, DH Lawrence in Australia (Macmillan Australia), was published in 1981. He and his wife Sandra now run The Svengali Press, a digital publishing company.