In the autumn of 1908 the newly qualified Lawrence left his childhood home for London. While teaching in Davidson Road School, [[Croydon]], he continued writing. Some of the early poetry, submitted by Jessie Chambers, came to the attention of [[Ford Madox Ford]], then known as Ford Hermann Hueffer and [[editing|editor]] of the influential ''[[The English Review]]''. Hueffer then commissioned the story ''[[Odour of Chrysanthemums]]'' which, when published in that magazine, encouraged [[Heinemann (book publisher)|Heinemann]], a London publisher, to ask Lawrence for more work. His career as a professional author now began in earnest, although he taught for another year. Shortly after the final proofs of his first published novel, ''[[The White Peacock]]'', appeared in 1910, Lawrence's mother died of cancer. The young man was devastated, and he was to describe the next few months as his "sick year." It is clear that Lawrence had an extremely close relationship with his mother, and his grief became a major turning point in his life, just as the death of Mrs. Morel is a major turning point in his autobiographical novel ''[[Sons and Lovers]]'', a work that draws upon much of the writer's provincial upbringing.
In 1911 Lawrence was introduced to [[Edward Garnett]], a [[publisher's reader]], who acted as a mentor, provided further encouragement, and became a valued friend, as did his son [[David Garnett|David]]. Throughout these months the young author revised ''Paul Morel'', the first draft of what became ''[[Sons and Lovers]]''. In addition, a teaching colleague, [[Helen Corke]], gave him access to her intimate diaries about an unhappy love affair, which formed the basis of ''[[The Trespasser (novel)|The Trespasser]]'', his second novel. In November 1911, he came down with a pneumonia again; once he recovered, Lawrence decided to abandon teaching in order to become a full-time author. He also broke off an engagement to Louie Burrows, an old friend from his days in Nottingham and Eastwood.