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Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers (1913)

by D. H. Lawrence

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,78671544 (3.59)2 / 255



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Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Classic Lawrence, although it took forever to get to any decent sex. The misogynistic overtones are blatant and rather overwhelming at times in this one, and yet, I couldn't stop reading it. There's something so intrinsically human about each of his characters that you end up liking them in spite of yourself. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
Per Wikipedia: "Richard Aldington explains the semi-autobiographical nature of his masterpiece: 'When you have experienced _Sons and Lovers_ you have lived through the agonies of the young Lawrence striving to win free from his old life'. Generally, it is not only considered as an evocative portrayal of working-class life in a mining community, but also an intense study of family, class and early sexual relationships." Every son is "indentured" to his mother and this is Lawrence's best book because it blends the micro/macro aspects of family and love/hate like no other novel before it (and few since). ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I had no idea what to expect of Sons and Lovers as I went in. I had no idea what the book is about, presumably multiple sons and more than one lovers are involved. With the public domain books just knowing that it is a classic is usually enough. I also had no expectation of D.H. Lawrence, I knew he is the author of [b: Lady Chatterley's Lover|32049|Lady Chatterley's Lover|D.H. Lawrence|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1215571713s/32049.jpg|3249302], which I have a vague impression of being some kind of Edwardian porn (though it probably isn't). Diving in with no expectation is often fun and rewarding.

The first impression I had while reading the first chapter is that Sons and Lovers is some kind of misery-fest of [a: Thomas Hardy|15905|Thomas Hardy|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1429946281p2/15905.jpg] proportions. The novel is centered on a seemingly dysfunctional family, the Morels. The father, Walter Morel, is a good for nothing drunkard. The mother, Gertrude, is no pushover, she is always able to defend herself and her kids against her husband’s abuses. That is nice for her, but their frequent arguments and fights do not make for a very peaceful household. I read the early part of the book with morbid fascination, guessing it is going to be just a family drama. However, as I read on beyond the first couple of chapters I began to get the impression that these characters seem very real and believable. There is more to Walter Morel than just being drunk and abusing his wife and kids. Sometime he regrets his behavior, sometime he is nice to his children. Like most human beings he has more than just one facet to his personality; he is still a lousy husband and father though.

Sons and Lovers spans about two decades, as the Morel children grow up, the second child, Paul Morel, becomes the central character. After the eldest son, William, leaves home in Nottingham to work in London Paul becomes the centre of his mother’s attention. This is where the novel reverberates hard with me. I have a similarly close relationship with my dear old mother and, like Paul, I fret when she is ill. There is a scene of Paul and his mom spending an afternoon together when nothing significant happens, this scene is a thing of beauty as the book suddenly sparkles with happiness. Warmed my cockles it did*.

What surprises me most about this book is how fascinating the seemingly ordinary lives of these characters are; as my friend Cecily remarked, “It’s the quotidian that sucks you in”. Once you get to the point where the characters seem like real people and you feel invested in their lives and wellbeing you don't even need a plot to hold your interest. This is just as well because Paul Morel vacillates such a lot between two girls Miriam and Clara, with both of whom he has an awfully discordant relationship. At the end of the day though it’s his mother, Mrs. Gertrude Morel, that is the glue that holds the Morel family, and indeed the entire novel, together. After her demise everything falls apart.

I finished Sons and Lovers almost with regret as I have to take leave of these characters I have been observing for the past couple of weeks. Forget FedEx, DHL really delivered!


* Unfortunately the term “Oedipus complex” rears its ugly head in some analyses of the book that I read after finishing the book which spoil it for me a little.

I read the audiobook of Sons and Lovers from Librivox.org. Wonderfully read by Tony Foster. Thank you. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
In Sons and Lovers a mother raises three sons and a daughter. Two of her sons, William and Paul grow up but have trouble with women and their mother struggles with their choices but are those choices because of the mother's strong personality and her focused, one could say all-encompassing love? Too much angst for me to love this book. But we'll written. ( )
  mmoj | Aug 16, 2015 |
In Sons and Lovers a mother raises three sons and a daughter. Two of her sons, William and Paul grow up but have trouble with women and their mother struggles with their choices but are those choices because of the mother's strong personality and her focused, one could say all-encompassing love? Too much angst for me to love this book. But we'll written. ( )
  mmoj | Aug 16, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence, D. H.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baron, CarlEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baron, HelenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beal, AnthonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, VictoriaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brotherus, AuneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cancogni, FrancaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daly, MacdonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de la Plaza, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DeMott, BenjaminIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Durov, ValerieEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dyer, GeoffIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eyre, Sir RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fournier-Pargoire, JeanneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Francioli, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gelli, PieroIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, YvonnrCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilpin, SamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gopegui, BelénForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Halson, GeoffreyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hilská, KateřinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ilona, RónaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jackson, DennisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kliphuis, J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kristensen, TomTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martínez-Lage, MiguelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrison, BlakeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moynahan, JulianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordon, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oeser, Hans-ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, SheilaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sagar, KeithIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slack, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, BobIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trotter, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Venning, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375753737, Paperback)

Sons and Lovers was the first modern portrayal of a phenomenon that later, thanks to Freud, became easily recognizable as the Oedipus complex. Never was a son more indentured to his mother's love and full of hatred for his father than Paul Morel, D.H. Lawrence's young protagonist. Never, that is, except perhaps Lawrence himself. In his 1913 novel he grappled with the discordant loves that haunted him all his life--for his spiritual childhood sweetheart, here called Miriam, and for his mother, whom he transformed into Mrs. Morel. It is, by Lawrence's own account, a book aimed at depicting this woman's grasp: "as her sons grow up she selects them as lovers--first the eldest, then the second. These sons are urged into life by their reciprocal love of their mother--urged on and on. But when they come to manhood, they can't love, because their mother is the strongest power in their lives."

Of course, Mrs. Morel takes neither of her two elder sons (the first of whom dies early, which further intensifies her grip on Paul) as a literal lover, but nonetheless her psychological snare is immense. She loathes Paul's Miriam from the start, understanding that the girl's deep love of her son will oust her: "She's not like an ordinary woman, who can leave me my share in him. She wants to absorb him." Meanwhile, Paul plays his part with equal fervor, incapable of committing himself in either direction: "Why did his mother sit at home and suffer?... And why did he hate Miriam, and feel so cruel towards her, at the thought of his mother. If Miriam caused his mother suffering, then he hated her--and he easily hated her." Soon thereafter he even confesses to his mother: "I really don't love her. I talk to her, but I want to come home to you."

The result of all this is that Paul throws Miriam over for a married suffragette, Clara Dawes, who fulfills the sexual component of his ascent to manhood but leaves him, as ever, without a complete relationship to challenge his love for his mother. As Paul voyages from the working-class mining world to the spheres of commerce and art (he has fair success as a painter), he accepts that his own achievements must be equally his mother's. "There was so much to come out of him. Life for her was rich with promise. She was to see herself fulfilled... All his work was hers."

The cycles of Paul's relationships with these three women are terrifying at times, and Lawrence does nothing to dim their intensity. Nor does he shirk in his vivid, sensuous descriptions of the landscape that offers up its blossoms and beasts and "shimmeriness" to Paul's sensitive spirit. Sons and Lovers lays fully bare the souls of men and earth. Few books tell such whole, complicated truths about the permutations of love as resolutely without resolution. It's nothing short of searing to be brushed by humanity in this manner. --Melanie Rehak

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

"Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. When it appeared in 1913, it was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama, and it is now widely considered the major work of D.H. Lawrence's early period. This intensely autobiographical novel recounts the story of Paul Morel, a young artist growing to manhood in a British working-class family rife with conflict. The author's vivid evocation of the all-consuming nature of possessive love and sexual attraction makes this one of his most powerful novels."--Jacket.… (more)

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14 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: 0141441445, 0141199857

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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