Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover

by D. H. Lawrence

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Overview

Once banned in several countries, this classic novel about a torrid love affair touches on themes of class, romance, and industrialization.

 Lyric and sensual, D. H. Lawrence’s last novel is one of the major works of fiction of the twentieth century. Filled with scenes of intimate beauty that explore the emotions of a lonely woman trapped in a sterile marriage and her growing love for the robust gamekeeper of her husband's estate. The most controversial of Lawrence’s books, Lady Chatterley’s Lover joyously affirms the author’s vision of individual regeneration through sexual love. The book’s power, complexity, and psychological intricacy make this a completely original work-a triumph of passion, an erotic celebration of life.

“Nobody concerned with the novel in our century can afford not to read it.”—Lawrence Durrell, author of the Alexandria Quartet

“The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.” —E.M. Forster, author of Howards End

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607108610
Publisher: Canterbury Classics
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Series: Word Cloud Classics
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
File size: 620 KB

About the Author

Born in England on September 11, 1885, D. H. Lawrence is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Lawrence published many novels and poetry volumes during his lifetime, including Sons and Lovers and Women in Love, but is best known for his infamous novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The graphic and highly sexual novel was published in Italy in 1928, but was banned in the United States until 1959, and banned in England until 1960. Garnering fame for his novels and short stories early into his career—especially his collections The Fox, The Captain’s Doll, and The Ladybird and The Prussian Officer and Other Stories—Lawrence later received acclaim for his personal letters and poetry, in which he detailed a range of emotions, from exhilaration to depression to prophetic brooding. He died in France in 1930.

Date of Birth:

September 11, 1885

Date of Death:

March 2, 1930

Place of Birth:

Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England

Place of Death:

Vence, France

Education:

Nottingham University College, teacher training certificate, 1908

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Lady Chatterley's Lover"
by .
Copyright © 2008 D. H. Lawrence.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1.  The critic Julian Moynahan argues that “Lady Chatterley’s Lover dramatizes two opposed orientations toward life, two distinct modes of human awareness, the one abstract, cerebral, and unvital; the other concrete, physical, and organic.” Discuss.

2.  What is the role of the manor house, the industrial village, and the wood in the novel?

3.  Many critics have argued that while Lady Chatterley’s Lover represents a daring treatment of sexuality, it is an inferior work of art, though other critics have called it a novel of the first rank. (“Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” F. R. Leavis writes, “is a bad novel,” while Anaïs Nin, on the other hand, describes it as “artistically . . . [Lawrence’s] best novel.”) What do you think?

4.  In “Apropos of Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (a defense of the book that he published in 1930), Lawrence wrote that “the greatest need of man is the renewal forever of the complete rhythm of life and death, the rhythm of the sun’s year, the body’s year of a lifetime, and the greater year of the stars, the soul’s year of immortality.” How is the theme of resurrection played out in the novel?

5.  From the time it was banned from unexpurgated publication in the United States and Britain until the trials in the late 1950s and early 1960s that resulted in the lifting of the ban, and even more recently, critics have argued over whether Lady Chatterley’s Lover is obscene and vulgar. Lawrence argues in “Apropos of Lady Chatterley’s Lover” that “we shall never free the phallic reality [i.e., sex] . . . till we give it its own phallic language and use the obscene words”; his goal was to purify these words. Critics have disagreed as to whether he succeeded in this goal; Richard Aldington notes, for example, that the words are “incrusted with nastiness” and “cannot regain their purity” and Graham Hough argues that “the fact remains that the connotations of the obscene physical words are either facetious or vulgar.” Do you think the novel is obscene or vulgar, or do you think Lawrence succeeds in his mission?

6.  “The essential function of art is moral,” Lawrence once wrote. “Not aesthetic, not decorative, not pastime and recreation. But moral.” Do you think this proposition informs the shape, structure, and meaning of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and if so, how?

7.  Critics have often complained that one of Lawrence’s weaknesses as a novelist is his characterization. So John Middleton Murry writes of Sons and Lovers that “we can discern no individuality whatever in the denizens of Mr. Lawrence’s world. We should have thought that we should have been able to distinguish between male and female at least. But no! Remove the names, remove the sedulous catalogues of unnecessary clothing . . . and man and woman are as indistinguishable as octopods in an aquarium tank.” And Edwin Muir comments generally that “we remember the scenes in his novels; we forget the names of his men and women. We should not know any of them if we met them in the street.” Do you think this applies in the case of Lady Chatterley’s Lover? If so, do you think it is a fault or a virtue?

8.  How does nature imagery function in the novel?

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