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Lady Chatterley's Lover

by D. H. Lawrence

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,715179405 (3.49)1 / 478
Banned, burned, and the subject of a landmark obscenity trial, Lawrence's lyric and sensual last novel is now regarded as "our time's most significant romance." -- "The New York Times. "This classic tale of love and discovery pits the paralyzed and callous Clifford Chatterley against his indecisive wife and her persuasive lover.… (more)
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» See also 478 mentions

English (160)  Spanish (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (3)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
For a novel that is purported to be of the “bodice-ripper” genre (ie chick lit) and was written almost 100 years ago, I can’t believe how forward thinking D.H. Lawrence is.

During the 1920s, feminism, female rights, and especially the female organism were new concepts that came about as a result of increased female independence during the Great War. Women had been called to the workforce to replace all of the men who were sent away to the battlefields of Europe, and even after the few remaining men of the Lost Generation returned to England women were not willing to back to being hausfraus. Lady Chatterly is definitely not one of these working women - her family are clearly minor aristocrats and she marries into the leisure class as well - but she personifies the increased intellectual and social freedoms that women of her station became accustomed to in parallel. Constance was given an extensive education during her family’s travels throughout Europe as a young woman and Lawrence makes it clear that she and her sister were given relative freedom to explore all of life that intrigued them. Both sisters had love affairs in their teens - a likely unheard of concept previously, and still likely uncommon - that are presented hand in hand with their highly developed intellect that in fact challenged the men of their circles to keep up or be left behind. This development of personality is one that was surely a shock to readers at the time of the book’s publication, as the idea that women could be seen as intellectual equals as men - and an even greater shock that these women had casual sexual encounters in which they proved to be the more emotionally removed sex of the two.

As the novel progresses, it seems for a moment or two that Constance will grow out of her adolescent behaviour when she marries Lord Clifford Chatterly during the course of the War. Even when Clifford returns home to his ancestral seat at Wragby Hall paralyzed from the waist down that Constance will buck up and be a dutiful wife, only allowing her intellect and true personality to show during conversations with Clifford and his group of intellectual friends. This is clearly not to last, though, as her introduction to this group of interesting men draws obvious comparisons to her youth in Germany surrounded by men of strong opinion and vocabulary. Inevitably, her instinct for sexual encounter is piqued by an Irish writer, Michaelis, who, while ultimately a disappointment to her emotionally and physically, begins her path to a true break from the hopelessly inadequate Clifford. Clifford, while a writer of popular fiction is technically of the intelligentsia that Constance craves as stimuli, he is highly traditional in his outlook on life (especially when it comes to the restrictions of class) which Constance begins to find constrictive in her more accepting views of people. His physical reliance on Constance for daily care is really just the final nail in the coffin of emotion, as she has no interest in being a glorified maid who gets nothing in return for her efforts.

It came as a bit of a shock to me that the person whom Constance finally falls in love with (and leaves Clifford officially for) is the Oliver Mellors, the game keeper of the Wragby Estate. The two of them are from incredibly different walks of life and at their initial encounters were incredibly tense, but their differences only seem to heighten their similarities. Neither are willing to go along with accepted societal norms, and both have a complete disregard for the fripperies of aristocratic privilege and the lack of practicality that it entails. The pair of them argue constantly about practically nothing, but Lawrence has tapped into the exact passion that comes from these types of relationships. They are based on passion, rather than rationality, and the people in them don’t give a damn about what society thinks - even if they make plans to be eventually accepted by this society. For a book published in 1928 that seems to be aimed at the accepted popular market in England, Lawrence is incredibly graphic in his description of sex between the couple. His scenes of “depravity” are of course tame in comparison to earlier authors like the Marquis de Sade, but what I expect caused so much outrage was that he published his novel for the English market (where society was still very closeted about sex in comparison to the Continental population) and was depicting sex between two consenting adults as normal rather than presenting the scenes as gross exaggerations and exceptions to the norm (as De Sade does in his novels). To modern readers who have access to a wide range of pornographic and erotic material (in addition to modern outlooks on sex and relationships between adults) Lawrence’s novel likely seem incredibly tame, but what we must remember is that it is this novel (and many others in between) that helped usher along modern viewpoints on these themes by exposing people to new ways of thinking about the reality of human relationships rather than chaste idealized fictions. ( )
1 vote JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
This was a tough call for me. On the one hand, Lawrence does well to acknowledge that female sexuality and pleasure *exists.* On the other hand, the depiction of female sexuality is so...Freudian. So male-focused still. I don't know if I'd teach this book or not. I'm definitely glad to have read it, but I'm not sure this is going to remain on my shelves. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
This book is an interesting erotica and has poignant commentary on class and industrialization in England. Kinda sexist tho.
  TAndrewH | Sep 6, 2020 |
Listening to audiobooks really increases the number of 1001-books I finish.
This is another one.

Looking at it's first year of publication I can see why it's been banned 😂
When I started reading it, I had never thought it would be this explicit. It wasn't bad or vulgar, just unexpected. I'm glad there was also some kind of a story woven around Conny and her lover, even though those parts of the book were quite predictable.
All in all a nice read. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Aug 9, 2020 |
This book, Lawrence's last, was published privately in Italy in 1928 and in France and Australia in 1929. It was banned in the US until 1959 and in the United Kingdom until 1960, at which time the publisher, Penguin Books was put on trial for obscenity. The verdict was "not guilty".
The book's vivid portrayals of adulterous sex, of people speaking about and enjoying sex are still controversial today, and in my opinion, overshadows what the book is really about- the conflict between the life of the mind and the life of the physical body.
Connie, aka Lady Chatterley, is married to Sir Clifford, a paraplegic WWI veteran. He has taken on, with gusto, the "life of the mind". Connie must attend to all his physical needs, type his papers, and may listen to but not participate in discussions among his cronies on subjects such as philosophy, religion and economics.
She meets Oliver Mellors, the game keeper, and they begin a passionate affair. Oliver has distanced himself from most of society and laments the state of humankind. He comments that people are only educated to spend money... but are not truly living. He despairs of the future.
As Connie observes, "the world is a vast and ghastly intricacy of mechanism, and one has to be very wary not to get mangled by it". There is nowhere to escape. There is no "ends of the earth".

The only hope of the future is regeneration through tenderness towards others. Connie tell Mellors that "the courage of your own tenderness" is the only thing that will make the future bearable.
He agrees...
"Sex is really only touch, the closest touch. And its touch we're afraid of. We're only half conscious, half alive."
The theme of personal regeneration through sexual contact is a recurring theme in Lawrence's novels. This novel is considered one of the greatest books of all time, but not recommended for those who are offended by explicit language or depictions of sexual acts. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley's Lover has just been reissued by the Grove Press, and this fictional account of the day-to-day life of an English gamekeeper is still of considerable interest to outdoor minded readers, as it contains many passages on pheasant raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin, and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper. Unfortunately one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material in order to discover and savor these sidelights on the management of a Midland shooting estate, and in this reviewer's opinion this book cannot take the place of J.R. Miller's Practical Gamekeeping.
added by Cynfelyn | editField and Stream, Ed Zern (Nov 1, 1959)
 

» Add other authors (70 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence, D. H.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aas, NilsIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alopaeus, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Andréen, OmarIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Archibald, SandraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Armando, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barstad, KariIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bonds, LauraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bosch, AndrésTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, ChesterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bryan, Frederick vanPeltAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busby, BrianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cushman, KeithContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, ChrixIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daly, JillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Simone, VanniIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dench, JudiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Durrell, LawrencePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dyer, GeoffIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emerson, HuntIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleutiaux, PierretteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forsström, IngmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friedland, RonaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fryn, Haydee N.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gart, RolandContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gåsøy, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Göktürk, AkşitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gopegui, BelénIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graff, FinnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hare, SteveAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, KathrynIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helmut, WernerContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hilton, MargaretNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoggart, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnsen, EinarIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kamm, JürgenContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kippenbroeck, Johan H. F.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kolstad, JanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kristofori, JanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, Friedasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lessing, DorisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundkvist, ArturForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyon, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macleish, ArchibaldPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malignon, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malraux, AndréForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martín, SilviaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monte, AxelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, Harry T.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordon, PierreTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsen, Poul AsgerIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orioli, PinoPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Partanen, JormaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peake, MaxineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, MorelandForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pirè, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rademacher, SusannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, TomTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, GeoffreyAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roger-Cornaz, F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandfort, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schorer, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, SarahIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shi, YuanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
South, AnnaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Squires, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tabak, JosipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toming, Hans JørgenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Topia, AndréAuteursecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vernière, LaureTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vrba, FrantišekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weisser, Susan OstrovIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Worthen, JohnAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yelin, JulietaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Publisher's dedication : "......to the twelve jurors who returned a verdict of 'Not Guilty' [on 2 November, 1960] and thus made D.H. Lawrence's last novel available for the first time to the public in the United Kindom"
First words
Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.
Quotations
Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new litle habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble ver the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.
The beautiful pure freedom of a woman was infnitely more wonderful than any sexual love. The only unfortunate thing was that men lagged so far behind women in the matter. They insisted on the sex thing like dogs.
"No, I don't hate you," she said. "I think you're nice." - "Ah!" he said to her fiercely, "I'd rather you said that to me than said you love me! It means such a lot more..."
The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few in most personal experience. There's lots of good fish in the sea... maybe... but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.
"I can't see I do a woman any more harm by sleeping with her than by dancing with her... or even talking to her about the weather. It's just an interchange of sensations instead of ideas, so why not?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Banned, burned, and the subject of a landmark obscenity trial, Lawrence's lyric and sensual last novel is now regarded as "our time's most significant romance." -- "The New York Times. "This classic tale of love and discovery pits the paralyzed and callous Clifford Chatterley against his indecisive wife and her persuasive lover.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441496, 0141192178, 0241951542

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1907832122, 1907832203

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Gray Rabbit Publications

An edition of this book was published by Gray Rabbit Publications.

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