The Silvery Freedom…and the Horrible Paws is the story of how DH Lawrence’s 8th major novel, Kangaroo, was composed and written. The title refers to Lawrence’s realisation – half-way through writing the book – that he had stumbled on a secret para-military organisation in Australia in 1922. “It was as if,” he wrote in Kangaroo, “the silvery freedom suddenly turned, and showed the scaly back of a reptile, and the horrible paws.” This is a story that many people and interests tried to prevent coming out. It reveals the fascist underbelly of post-WW1 Australian society and politics.
It is the second volume of the author’s Lawrence’s 99 Days in Australia, which together tell the story of how the 20th-century’s most controversial author came to write his most surprising work of “fiction”.
ROBERT DARROCH, the President of the DH Lawrence Society of Australia, is an historian, investigative 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.