Archives reveal more of Lady Chatterley

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Government disarray over a jury's decision that Lady Chatterley's Lover was not obscene is revealed today in files released by the National Archives.

Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, the Attorney General, and his deputy were involved in the 1960 prosecution at the Old Bailey, despite protestations at the time that it was not politically inspired.

Once Sir Reginald had read the first four chapters, he wrote to Sir Theobald Matthew, the director of public prosecutions: "If the remainder of the book is of the same character, I have no doubt that you were right to start proceedings."

Sir Jocelyn Simon, the solicitor general, was told to meet Sir Theobald "to discuss tactics".

The prosecution of Penguin Books for releasing the novel, with its "four-letter word descriptions" of Lady Chatterley's affair with the gamekeeper Mellors was a failure.

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