The trial was a deliberate test of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act which had provided a new defence for "pornographic" books of literary merit.
The sponsor of the Act was a young Labour backbencher and later Home Secretary Roy Jenkins.
The Tory Attorney General who gave the nod for prosecution with the thought that he hoped a successful prosecution occurred was Reginald Manningham Buller, father of the later head of MI5, Eliza.
Legal victory secure, Penguin quickly put the book on sale a 3s 6d (17p) paperback. It sold several million copies in the years to come.
For those who have not read the book a central theme is the relationship between an upper class landed woman, Lady Chatterley, and a gamekeeper, Mellors.
The book contains frank descriptions of sexuality. While the Crown told the jury
that the book contained around 30 profanities with the aid of a Kindle, a digital search of the text reveals 21 mentions of the F Word and six of the C Word. James Kelman, shall we say, it is not.
The trial is held to be a moment in British social history when the stifling Victorian values of the British bourgeoisie started to crack.
The poet Philip Larkin famously noted that "sexual intercourse" began in the period between the Lady Chatterley trial and the Beatles first LP.
The most well known moment of the trial was when the prosecuting Mervyn Griffith Jones QC asked the jury whether Lawrence's book was one that they could allow their wives or servants to read.
This was at a time when to be qualified to serve on a jury someone had to be a property owner.
The details of the trial are well documented as are the expert witnesses called by the Defence who included the new left literary academic Raymond Williams. The prosecution called no counter witnesses to comment on the book's lack of worth.
They could find none.
Fifty years on and especially with another Eton focused Tory government in Office it is the underlying class differences that stand out.
The prosecuting Griffith Jones QC was an Eton and Cambridge man who had been a junior counsel at Nuremburg post 1945.
The defending Gerald Gardiner QC was a founder member of CND, a legal reformer who went on to be a radical Labour Lord Chancellor in Harold Wilson's Labour Governments from 1964-70.
The difference in outlook behind the Chatterley trial could not be clearer.
The Old Etonian Tory against the peace campaigner and radical Labour man.
Like many of Lawrence's books however the context and backdrop of the book was not sex but the mining industry of his native Nottinghamshire.
The book talks about the ownership of mines, about trade unions organising against the owners and of strikes and socialism.
None of this seemed to worry those who prosecuted Lady Chatterley, at least officially.
But arguably then as now the mixture of sex and class was something which the British ruling class was not comfortable with if it reached a wide audience.
Despite the fact that it was illegal to sell Lady Chatterley in the UK before November 2 1960 - and book sellers had been prosecuted and jailed under the pre-1959 law - all the Tories involved in bringing the case had somehow got and read a copy of this banned book.
Times have moved on since 1960 and Lawrence's book, though still very much worth a read, seems tame.
But the class battle that underwrote it continues.
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