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Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Women in Love (original 1920; edition 1976)

by D. H. Lawrence, Richard Aldington (Introduction)

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5,37735811 (3.58)241
Title:Women in Love
Authors:D. H. Lawrence
Other authors:Richard Aldington (Introduction)
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1976), Paperback, 473 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, literature, English literature

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


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English (32)  Dutch (1)  Piratical (1)  German (1)  All (35)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
This is a book by D. H. Lawrence that he considered his best work, in it examines relationships and societal expectations between men and women, and even men and men. There is not much plot and it is heavy on character development. The author spends way too much time talking about love on some meta level that leaves the reader exhausted as does the back and forth of these relationships between two women (sisters) and two males (best friends) in this industrial town of coal mining on the edge of Sherwood Forest. What I liked best about the book is that Birkin really is Lawrence. Gudrun is Katherine Mansfield (author of The Garden Party (1922) and Urusula is Lawrence's German wife (Frieda) and Gerald is Middleton Murry, Lawrence's closest friend. So that is how I experienced the book (the going on by Lawrence about love/not love was exhausting but I enjoyed the character study). There wasn't much of a plot but what there was involved some major events (the diving, the wandering about the mountain) and a whole lot of symbolism. Coal (industrial) soiling everything. And a lot of use of the words "inchoate, paradisial, sang froid". I was okay with the ending. I think the loss of friendship can be devastating. I have read other books by the author. I think this one, while it is Lawrence's favorite, is not mine but I did enjoy the window into Lawrence's life and the life of Katherine Mansfield in the pre 1920s. I am not sure whether this book contributes to literature today other than as a classic would contribute and it certainly is not controversial today as it was when written.

Rating 3.66 ( )
  Kristelh | Jan 14, 2018 |
I didn't find this book exactly bad, per se, it's just another character-driven novel (I prefer plot-driven, personally). But I won't say it's well written either. It's kind of a hot mess, honestly. Darkness! Loins! Love! Hate! Indecision! Sneaking! Unhappiness! Indecisiveness! And did I mention Darkness? Various plot lines lead nowhere--what is the point, exactly, since there isn't even an overarching plot that needs a bit of info to work.

This book is so obviously intended to have symbolic meaning. Of what, exactly, I can't say, but there is lots of darkness and then green, when Birkin and Ursula sneak and spend the night in the woods, as an example. What does Hermione represent? And the sisters both being teachers? And Winifred? (And how old is Winifred? 10? 13? 17?). Honestly this reads more like a YA book to me, and i am so glad I didn't read it in an academic lit class, because I am terrible with hidden meanings etc. Though if I had read this in high school English, I can guarantee my friends and I would have jokes about it even now, 30 years later (like Piggy being crushed by the styrofoam rock in the movie version of Lord of the Flies).

So anyway, it's done. I am a little curious about the precursor, as I found Ursula and Gudrun's stories to be interesting. Single sisters in their mid/late 20s still living at home while both being teachers, and their dad was too? Shouldn't he be trying to marry them off or something? So much of this book struck me as unusual--maybe it wasn't, but I guess I have not read or studied a lot about early 0th century England. So maybe it's me. ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 12, 2018 |
Great writing that drags forever, making it a strong contestant for the most boring novel ever by a notoriously famous author. Before you even think of it, look somewhere else, unless it's a mandatory read-for-school assignment. What was somehow my case. Later in life I might try "Sons and lovers" and once more "Lady Lady Chatterley's Lover". ( )
  EnockPioUlle | Jun 24, 2017 |
I don’t know if I’ve ever had so many strong (negative and positive) feelings for a single novel in my life. My one other experience with Lawrence was reading Lady Chatterley's Lover in college and really not caring for it at all. Either Women in Love is a better novel or 40 year old Kristy has a perspective that 20 year old Kristy didn’t have, because while I struggled pretty heartily with parts of this long saga, in the end I honestly really loved it. My friend Daniel’s advice to imagine all the characters as Edward Gorey drawings, really helped.

[full review here: http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2017/02/women-in-love-by-d-h-lawrence-1920.html ] ( )
  kristykay22 | Feb 1, 2017 |
I can't rate this. I read it as a teenager and thought it was incredible. I read it as an adult and could hardly get through it. Lawrence was important to me once in my life but isn't any more.
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
D. H. Lawrenceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aldington, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinkead-Weekes, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loftis, NormanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peccinotti, HarriPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, LyndaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
"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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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)

Women in Love, by D. H. Lawrence, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. One of the most versatile and influential figures in twentieth-century literature, D. H. Lawrence was a master craftsman and profound thinker whose celebration of sexuality in an over-intellectualized world opened the door to that topic for countless writers after him. Perhaps his finest novel, Women in Love (1920) continues the story of two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, who first appeared in Lawrence's novel The Rainbow (1915). The story contrasts the passionate love affairs of Ursula and Rupert Birkin, a character often seen as a self-portrait of Lawrence, with that of Gudrun and Gerald Crich, an icily handsome mining industrialist. Birkin, an introspective misanthrope, struggles to reconcile his metaphysical drive for self-fulfillment with Ursula's practical view of sentimental passion. As they fight their way through to a mutually satisfying relationship—and eventual marriage—Gudrun and Crich's sadomasochistic love affair careens toward a disastrous conclusion. A dark, disturbing, yet beautiful exploration of love in an increasingly violent and destructive world, Women in Love nevertheless holds out the hope of individual and collective rebirth through human intensity and passion. Norman Loftis is a poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher, and filmmaker. His works include Exiles and Voyages (poetry, 1969), Black Anima (poetry, 1973), Life Force (novel, 1982), From Barbarism to Decadence (1984), and Condition Zero (1993). His feature films include Schaman (1984), the award-winning Small Time (1989), and Messenger (1995). He is currently Chair of the Department of Literature at the Brooklyn Campus of the College of New Rochelle and is on the faculty at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, where he has taught since 1970.… (more)

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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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