When D. H. Lawrence's first novel, The White Peacock, was published in 1911, he presented it to his mother on her deathbed. His father, a Nottinghamshire miner, struggled through half a page before asking how much he had been paid for the book.
"Fifty pounds, father," Lawrence replied. "Fifty pounds!" his father cried, incredulous. "An' tha's niver done a day's hard work in thy life!"
[Lawrence allegedly had a fancy for removing his clothes and climbing mulberry trees.]