The British government has used its powers to preserve the nation’s cultural treasures to halt the export of a tattered paperback copy of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”
The copy of the once-scandalous book was used by the judge in the U.K. obscenity trial of Penguin Books, prosecuted in 1960 for publishing D.H. Lawrence’s novel about an affair between a wealthy woman and her husband’s gamekeeper.
A prosecution lawyer infamously asked in court whether it was “a book that you would … wish your wife or your servants to read?”
The book was sold to an anonymous overseas bidder at a Sotheby’s auction in October for 56,250 pounds ($73,000).
The government’s decision Monday halts the export for several months to see whether a buyer can be found to keep it in Britain.