Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?

The above words were famously spoken by Mervyn Griffith-Jones QC in his opening address as prosecuting counsel at the Old Bailey trial in 1960 of Penguin Books under the Obscene Publications Act 1959. He is speaking of D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

What is less well known is that sitting on the bench alongside Mr Justice Byrne, the presiding judge, was Mrs Byrne, with arms crossed, a deep frown on her brow and a mouth so pursed that she might be thought to be sucking on an entire grove of lemons. Indeed, as one of the defence team, Jeremy Hutchinson QC, remarked in a recent interview to mark his 100th birthday and the publication of a book Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories, she gave every impression that it was she and not her husband who was trying the case.

Surely not even Mrs Proudie would have presumed so much.

To hear the interview and a hilarious extract from the trial cross-examination of defence expert witness Richard Hoggart go to:


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