Hatchards sold out in 40 minutes; Selfridges sold 250 copies in half an hour.
In one Yorkshire town, a canny butcher sold copies of the book beside his lamb chops.
It was in the early 1970s, not the 1960s, that the sexual revolution became a reality for most people, with millions of women taking the Pill, teenagers losing their virginity earlier and divorce, homosexuality and abortion becoming familiar elements of our social landscape.
In the long run, however, the end of the Chatterley ban was an enormously symbolic moment, representing the end of an era in which the state had regulated private morality as well as public behaviour.
What followed, said one eyewitness, was a “circus so hilarious, fascinating, tense and satisfying that none who sat through all its six days will ever forget them”. Though few then could have realised it, a tiny but unmistakeable line runs from the novel Lawrence wrote in the late 1920s to an international pornography industry today worth more than £26 billion a year.
Now that public obscenity has become commonplace, it is hard to recapture the atmosphere of a society that saw fit to ban books such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover because it was likely to “deprave and corrupt” its readers.
Antediluvian as the early 1960s might seem to us today, however, they seemed at the time an era of dizzying change.
Only a year before the trial, Roy Jenkins had secured the passage of a new Obscene Publications Act, leaving a crucial loophole – the question of literary merit – through which works might escape prohibition.
And yet there was another side to the story, often ignored by the history books.
Outside intellectual high society, most ordinary people in 1960 remained deeply conservative, and the Home Office was flooded with letters of protest.
Every room comes with a private bathroom fitted with a shower.
Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 8.6 for a two-person trip.
Fifty years ago this week, amid extraordinary international publicity, the Old Bailey was the venue for a trial that did more to shape 21st-century Britain than hundreds of politicians put together.