This thesis explores the relationships between D.H. Lawrence and four nineteenth- century French writers: Honore de Balzac, Theophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, and Emile Zola. It presents a kinship between Lawrence and French writing founded on the shared desire to depict sex â specifically behaviours and desires that did not adhere to the procreative and heteronormative standard of their respective eras. I argue that the disruption of norms in French writing presented a queering of gender and sexuality that cohered more closely with Lawrenceâs depiction of gender nonconformity and sexual dissidence than contemporary anglophone examples. Havelock Ellisâs concept of sexual inversion, Edward Carpenterâs uranism, and the homosexuality of Oscar Wilde represented identity markers Lawrence mistrusted and with which he could not identify. The first chapter examines male femininity in The White Peacock (1911), Balzacâs Sarrasine (1830), and Gautierâs Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835), and explores how this gender ambiguity subverts heteronormative love triangles in Balzacâs La Fille aux yeux dâor (1835). The second argues for the importance of Baudelaireâs Les Fleurs du mal and its Decadence to Lawrenceâs wartime poetry, before offering a posthuman reading of Women in Love (1920). The final chapter posits Lawrenceâs reconfiguration of the degeneration theory used in Zolaâs La Curee (1871) to critique scientific discourse and nationalist narratives in Women in Love. In examining Lawrence in the light of an alternate cultural and literary milieu, this thesis develops not only Lawrencean scholarship in mapping the relevance of Decadence and Naturalism to his work, but contributes to the expansion of modernist studies across national and temporal boundaries. This project uses comparativist and queer readings of Lawrence to shed light on the complexity of his writing about sex. It formulates a queer historiography, founded on desire experienced not only across time but through space, by charting what Carolyn Dinshaw calls âqueer historical touchesâ between Lawrence and the French writers. Reflective of Lawrenceâs own engagement with these French authors, the bilingual nature of this confounds Anglocentric understandings of Lawrence, and challenges monolingual conceptions of modernism more broadly.