The Third Leader: Literary lingerie

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The Independent Online

Ay, Connie lass! By 'eck, but there's trouble oop at t'DH Lawrence estate. Seems that t'nobs running it are a bit brassed off that t'well-known floggers of all sorts of 'elp to earthy goings on, Ann Summers, are selling a Lady Chatterley Basque, a Lady Chatterley Thong, and a Lady Chatterley Bra, appen, tha' knows.

Don't worry, I'll stop now, as I'm finding it a bit exhausting, too; just as I did in the original when Mellors was extending to his aspirates the same robust treatment he was affording her ladyship. And I know that she tended to eschew underwear, and how it's all supposed to be about the profundity and beauty of sex, and how it can be debased by shame or a lack of respect; but, surely, even t'author, Mr Earnest from Eastwood, did allow the occasional smile.

It also seems rum, as the gamekeeper himself might have put it, that those connected with t'great work should be seeking to ban things, or thongs. Can we now look forward to similar complaints about, for example, the Madame Butterfly corset? I can't quite place Madame Fifi (nipple tassles, from £9) in the literary canon, but she must be in there somewhere.

And then there are my concerns as something of a connoisseur in this area; we have already lost, I discover, The Virginia Woolf Burger Bar and Grill at the Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury. Before long, there'll be nothing left besides the Mansfield Park farmers' market in Glasgow and King Arthur's Car Park in Tintagel.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the catalogue, I wonder what Connie and, particularly, Mellors, given his calling, would have made of the Rampant Rabbit.