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Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
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Women in Love (1920)

by D. H. Lawrence

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brangwen Family (2)

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4,77425977 (3.59)219
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English (23)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I read this without having read The Rainbow. Some mild SPOILERS are included in this review. A few observations:

1. The little bits of personal violence scattered through the book were strange, including the final attempted violent moment. These violent moments increased in intensity and seemed a natural progression from the sudden and barely explainable anger that developed in almost every conversation.

2. The conflict among the characters seemed to be based on who controlled whom within their relationships. This included the relationship between Birkin and Gerald. It is truly odd that this book is called Women in Love, when it is painful to see how much Birkin loved Gerald and how little he could do about it.

3. The female characters were largely unsympathetic and even cruel.

4. This book was written in the context of WWI, in the middle of social change in England. Perhaps this shattering of the world was what Lawrence was trying to capture, but at some point the number of attempted earth-shattering conversations was just too much. This was demonstrated oddly when Lawrence has the common folk reading Birkin's letter outloud and laughing at its melodrama. For me this has become the memorable moment of the book, but it seems to be part of Lawrence's evidence that no matter how much he explains the really serious thing he is trying to get across to the world, people don't get it and don't get him.

5. One appealing aspect of this book was the characters' ability to walk untroubled for long distances as a matter of course, and in this walking, to enjoy the natural world.

Overall, I just couldn't enjoy this. So far in the three of Lawrence's works I've read, no positive relationships have been shown. Instead, there has been a great deal of conflict based on power and many oddly constructed female characters. I get the sense that Lawrence earnestly wants the reader to understand something about love, but the message seems to keep getting lost. ( )
  karmiel | Aug 16, 2015 |
Spurred by my current Anaïs Nin obsession, I picked up [b:Women in Love|9784|Women in Love|D.H. Lawrence|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1166062620s/9784.jpg|3302695] (Nin did a critical study of [a:D.H. Lawrence|17623|D.H. Lawrence|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1278173884p2/17623.jpg] early in her career). Burned through a third of it on a long plan ride from New Orleans to Oakland. I am in pursuit of a lineage and a vindication (permission?) for doing work that deals with emotions, relationships - that which is written "from the blood", as Lawrence would say.

It has also been a long while since I have read a novel from what might glibly be called the age of novels (or one of the ages of novels; post WWI, post telegraph - pre Enduring Freedom, pre twitter). For me, childhood through say just post-adolescence was a time of serious patience for consuming long novels, akin almost to language acquisition in early childhood. So I am also revisiting a method of reading specific to a type of book that I have since moved away from.

I am also interested in the construction of gender identity in literature and the history and construction of romantic love.

At this point I realize I've said little about the actual book. Lawrence has moments of rhapsodic prose, punctuated by painstaking character creation mainly effected with dialogue.

More on this as I have time! ( )
  oh_that_zoe | May 21, 2015 |
A disappointing read. It is disjointed and does not flow well. A possibly repressed homosexuality (or is it normal masculine sensuality?) pervades the book. Too contrived to work. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
I loved being in the realm of this book, though I'm not sure what I think of the ending. ( )
  AminaMemory | Mar 31, 2013 |
Infuriating at every turn, but I'm still glad I read it. Was pretty sure this was all the Lawrence I'd ever have to read, but I was wrong. ( )
  idlerking | Mar 31, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (48 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
D. H. Lawrenceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldington, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peccinotti, HarriPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, LyndaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the window-bay of their father’s house in Beldover, working and talking. Ursula was stitching a piece of brightly-coloured embroidery, and Gudrun was drawing upon a board which she held on her knee. They were mostly silent, talking as their thoughts strayed through their minds.
Quotations
"No man," said Birkin, "cuts another man's throat unless he wants to cut it, and unless the other man wants it cutting. This is a complete truth. It takes two people to make a murder: a murderer and a murderee. And a murderee is a man who is murderable. And a man who is murderable is a man who in a profound in hidden lust desires to be murdered." p.30
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
"Women in Love" was written in the years before and during World War I. Criticized for its exploration of human sexuality, the novel is filled with symbolism and poetry -- and is compulsively entertaining.

The story opens with sisters Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, characters who also appeared in "The Rainbow," discussing marriage, then walking through a haunting landscape ruined by coal mines, smoking factories, and sooty dwellings. Soon Gudrun will choose Gerald, the icily handsome mining industrialist, as her lover; Ursula will become involved with Birkin, a school inspector -- and an erotic interweaving of souls and bodies begins. One couple will find love, the other death, in Lawrence's lush, powerfully crafted fifth novel, one of his masterpieces and the work that may best convey his beliefs about sex, love, and humankind's ongoing struggle between the forces of destruction and life.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141441542, Paperback)

Two of D. H. Lawrence's most renowned novels-now with new packages and new introductions

Widely regarded as D. H. Lawrence's greatest novel, Women in Love continues where The Rainbow left off, with the third generation of the Brangwens. Focusing on Ursula Brangwen and her sister Gudrun's relationships-the former with a school inspector and the latter with an industrialist and then a sculptor-Women in Love is a powerful, sexually explicit depiction of the destructiveness of human relations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:42 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Ursula and Gudrun are very different sisters who become entangled with two friends, Rupert and Gerald, who live in their hometown. The bonds between the couples quickly become intense and passionate but whether this passion is creative or destructive is unclear.… (more)

» see all 16 descriptions

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Audible.com

7 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441542, 0451530799

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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