Barney Rosset, the influetial former head of Grove Press who was one of the key figures pushing to overturn the ban on DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, has died at the age of 89. He was also involved in contentious plans to publish William S Burroughs’s Naked Lunch.
The Lady Chatterley’s Lover case was one of the most significant in British publishing history, and helped set the tone for all subsequent debates over the publication of sexually explicit material. The victory helped propel Grove Press to the forefront of British publishing and ensured that Lady Chatterley’s Lover became one of the best-known books of the 20th century.
As well as Lawrence and Burroughs, Barney Rosset also worked with a number of other key literary figures, including Samuel Beckett. Also interested in films, Rosset was a key figure in attempts to get films such as I Am Curious (Yellow) onto British screens.