Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover

by D. H. Lawrence

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Emotionally and physically isolated from her disabled husband, Lady Constance Chatterley enters into an affair with the couple’s gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. While she finds physical fulfillment and love with Mellors, Constance is nevertheless forced to confront the differences between the upper and lower classes as she chooses between a future in reduced circumstances with Mellors and a life of comfort with her distant husband.

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Product Details

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

About the Author

D. H. Lawrence (September 11, 1885 – March 2, 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic, and painter.

Date of Birth:

September 11, 1885

Date of Death:

March 2, 1930

Place of Birth:

Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England

Place of Death:

Vence, France


Nottingham University College, teacher training certificate, 1908

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

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?

Customer Reviews

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Lady Chatterley's Lover 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 368 reviews.
BANCHEE_READS More than 1 year ago
D H Lawrence makes some striking observations about the state of the social classes in post WWI England, as well as providing some good insights into tough individual decisions we make in regard to relationships. I had limited knowledge of the post-war subject beforehand, but I felt that I learned a great deal in the process of reading. At times the book seemed repetitive, as if Lawrence were beating me over the head with his message, sacrificing character and plot in the process, but after all was said and done I couldn't say that it was a bad book. It's a very insightful, multi-layered work and I'm very glad I read it. The fact that the book was widely banned from publication in its early days is just another tempting reason to read it although, by today's standards, what was so risqué then borders on the ridiculous for us now. As long as you remind yourself of the time period in which it was written you'll be just fine...the laughs and raised eyebrows in conjunction with more serious themes are a pleasant mix. It is almost unbelievable, how this book could ever have raised a scandal, whereas it deals with love in a most human and indeed loving way. This tells us more about earlier readers than about the author. Everybody who is able to abandon the carthesian beliefs that ruined pleasure in enjoying life in the flesh as well as in the spirit will enjoy this masterpiece of literature.
MommyOfMunch More than 1 year ago
This book originally caught my interest because of it being a "banned" book. I read it for the first time at seventeen in the throes of young love, and I'm pleased to announce that it still delights me! It is the tale of a woman who is married but not physically fulfilled, and the ensuing consequences of her taking up with her invalid husband's gamekeeper. Their conversations are very much like the kind between a man and woman, and it's remarkable Lawrence's ability to write the thoughts from a woman's point of view. His descriptions of Connie examining her own body, and the sex from her point of view are amazing. He was obviously a very empathetic man! This is a very enjoyable romance, and I recommend it highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It so odd, the way people respond to this book. One would think that it was 19th century porn the way they go on. Yes, the few sex scnes are lovely, deliciously written but, come on, what about the social commentary and the psychological onion that unfolds as she realizes the truth about the kind of person her husband is and her own personal awakiening. And what about the world around them, England on the cusp of social and technological evolution? All of this is deliciously written and elegantly explored - so is the sex, but seriously, the good sex is only a couple of torrid pages in the rain. This novel has been sold short by its reputation. Maybe it's because I read it as an adult on a whim and not as a young student in a class that I read into the depth of this novel, I don't know. Anyone who had to read it in school, should read it again because your teacher and your work load sould you short on what's here. I'm repeating myself. but the sex is merely a lovely side street.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was written quite a while ago, however, that doesn't mean it's not good. While the sex in the book is somewhat tame and you have to 'read between the lines', it's the authors wording that make this book so very special. It's beautifully written and easy to read. I also loved his short stories, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A story of love and betrayal laced with evasive sexual encounters. I think this is probably one of the very best books that I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So very many typos. But you can get the jist. No use discussing the book, it is classic literature and I enjoy this story, but there will be others that just don't get it. The actual digital conversion of this classic is poorly done with many typos.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I¿ll admit it. I picked up D.H. Lawrence¿s Lady Chatterley's Lover hoping to be aroused by early 20th century erotica but I was sourly disappointed. Lawrence¿s prose is bloated and over done and often at odds with the modernist dialogue. The love scenes were vague and at times comical enough to draw comparisons with a modern day bodice ripper. If I had stopped just at the surface of this book--looked at only its disgruntled narrator, bad prose and vague love scenes I can see why it was panned by critics and banned by others at home and abroad as obscene. But looking deeper the parts that were obscene didn¿t have anything to do with sex. The Victorian ideal women was to protect and serve and above all sacrifice her body, her heart and her mind to her children, her husband and society--to deviate from this norm meant tragedy. Lawrence turns this ideal on its head. Connie Chatterley's illicit love and selfishness does not end tragically, but awakens her body and mind like spring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For my English class, we are required to read one classic of our choice. We had been doing research on banned books, and "Lady Chatterley's Lover" caught my eye as one classic I might like to read. Expecting it to be extremely formal in style and diction, I often found myself surprised at what Lawrence wrote. I had never imagined sex being described in detail in such a formal manner. The book proved to be an exciting one to read and I was much impressed by the thoughts the book stimulated, about such things as women's roles and feelings, what love is from both the physical and emotional stadpoints, success, money, and the social classes. While I don't agree with Lady Chatterley's affair, I can see and understand her reasons for engaging in such a relationship. This book is quite a shocker if you think classics are dull or proper.
Takamonee More than 1 year ago
I suppose for the time in which this book was written that it was consider racy. but not by today's standards. Guess I do not care for D. H. Lawrence's writing.
bebwright More than 1 year ago
It's definitely an oldie. Not quite a goodie. I won't read it again. It was written a long time ago and was considered erotic for it's time. It ended a little puzzling and that was the big turn off for me. I read all that crap and didn't really get any closure. It's a book you really want to be finished with! Did I mention how hung up on sex men and women were back in those days.......
Bookworm95AO More than 1 year ago
It is an interesting take on eighteenth century sex, but I found the romantic scenes with Mellors and Connie to be a bit overblown--the love is overexaggerated for a relationship based almost solely on intercourse. The ending was anticlimatic and a bit of a drag...
fothpaul on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Took me a while to get through this one, some chapters faster than others. I wanted to know what happened in the end but wasn't that invested in the characters. Lots of postulating about mean being real men and the working and middle classes after the end of WW1. Pleased I read it so I could see what all the scandal was about. Mainly interesting as a piece of cultural history.
cathymoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't say I was particularly enamoured with this, although I am glad I have read it. Perhaps it just wasn't what I expected it to be. I found the political/class war aspect rather dull and all of the characters pretty unsympathetic. Both Clifford and Connie both seemed rather caught up in their own misery and self-loathing and I often wondered whether Mellors actually even liked Connie let alone loved her. To be honest I felt like giving them all a good kick up the backside. I thought the sex scenes, for which the book was banned for so many years, were neither tame nor overly offensive , just provocative, as if Lawerence had incuded them deliberately for the shock value at the time.
Trinity on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are a few things you need to get past in order to truly enjoy this book. It was banned and controversial, the book also focuses explicitly at times on the sexual relationships of the characters. You have to look beyond those things to truly understand what this book is about. Its about relationships but it more focuses on women's struggle with their own sexuality and being a good wife. As women we are taught to be dutiful wives, to worry more about our husbands and families than ourselves. Our sexuality is dirty or shameful. The book explores Constance's struggle against what she should do and her need to follow what she wants to do. I loved this book and could really identify with Constance's dilemmas throughout this book. I gave it 5 stars.
hlselz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very sexy, and very raw. Not written with pretty words or to many analagies or any type of fluff. This book is just about the amazing passion and sensuality that exists within us.
Scaryguy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sexy after all these years. Worth the read!
justmeRosalie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book, although it's been years since I read it. I loved the romance and the setting. Risky for it's time, the subject of sexual incompatibility was addressed and the need for a healthy marital realtionship, something polite society did not "talk about" when if first published. I'm glad it survived being banned in so many places and can be read with better thought and tolerance today. This aside, it's a lovely story and a beautiful read....very romantic.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Lady Chatterly's Lover" caught my attention as soon as I began reading it. The characters were very realistic, and I liked the elegant, drama-filled writing.The storyline is about an affair. Connie Chatterly is married to a man who has been paralyzed from the waist down. Not only is her husband incapable of performing sexually, but the main character does not love him. So when Connie meets Mellors, a mysterious gamekeeper who works on her husband's estate, she is drawn to him both romantically and sexually. They begin a heated affair, prompting Connie to think about her life, and what she wants from it. For Lawrence's time, this book was shocking. Even today, it is obvious that the author's intention was to surprise the less open minded. This book contains a lot of sex - and I loved the old fashioned descriptions and words used. They simply felt out of place with the X-rated scenes, a combination that I liked.I loved the characters in this book, especially the three main persons of Connie, her husband, and Mellors. They were remarkably realistic. The only thing that I didn't like about this book was that it was so long winded. Much of the book was, though not painful, certainly tedious reading. But, overall, I enjoyed reading my first D.H. Lawrence.
dele2451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young woman is torn between the man she married who is disabled by war early after their union and the virile gamekeeper who relieves her from her desperate loneliness. A familar theme, but this version is told impeccably well. Definitely worth the read, but I can't help wondering what happened to the baby.
poetontheone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not the sort of pornographic screed that so many imagine it to be, though I had not expected it to be from having read other works of a similar reputation and finding them to have an altogether different purpose than titillation. Lawrence's goal here is to sound the battle cry of the body against the cold machinery of industry and privileged intellectualism. He makes this evident multiple times in both narration and dialogue. He eventually makes this Connie's cause celebre, but it is not always believable given her upper crust naivete, which moves in and out of her personality like the flicker of a faulty candle. That is to say nothing about Mellors' apparent indifference to Connie throughout much of the work. Despite some thin characterization, Lawrence crafts a lyrical and readable prose and paints a celebration of the body and its passions. All the while, the reality of an increasingly soulless and mechanized world lurks in the background as a phantasmal antagonist.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the end of the first page, you already have an appreciation for Lawrence's talent as a writer. This work is a classic because he applies that talent to convey both the stark reality and the subtle nuances of human relationships - even our human state in modern times (e.g, "And that is how we are. By strength of will we cut off our inner intuitive knowledge from our admitted consciousness. This causes a state of dread, or apprehension, which makes the blow ten times worse when it does fall."). Lawrence wrote a propos that explains his intent and expands on his points. He believed that modern man and woman had lost touch with their real emotions, especially about love. They were instead getting by on counterfeit feelings, almost to the point of completely obliterating the real human sense. And this played out in marriage more significantly because of the role of marriage in society.
samantha464 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won't discount this book, since it has had a profound effect on the history of literature, and it's good. But it's not my favorite of Lawrence, nor is it entirely well written. It seems like most of its fame is a result of it being controversial, rather than groundbreaking in a literary sense. It is good, it's just not up there with Sons and Lovers in my list of favorites.
melancholy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has a sordid US legal history and the content lives up to its reputation. It¿s much filthier and sexier than I expected it to be, and Lawrence¿s interpretation of sex and love and the English social classes is very interesting. Absolutely recommended.
esquetee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Started reading this as an e-book from Project Gutenberg but I wanted to make too many notes so I switch to a paper edition and discovered that the e-book was the censored / edited version. Grrrr!*** Kinda / Sorta Spoilers ***There are really two different books to review in the Penguin hardcover -- Lady Chatterley's Lover and then Lawrence's bizarre letter afterward. The novel itself is frustrating, beautiful, a little dry, and passionate. I can see why it was called Lady Chatterley's *Lover* and not "Lady Chatterley". The gamekeeper was a fantastic character - I loved his little speeches, his mixed up dialects, and his stubbornness. Lady Chatterley herself I found pretty boring pretty early. But the gamekeeper kept me reading. And then... you finish the book, and find this defense by D.H. Lawrence written several years after the first edition was published. In some parts, it's brilliant and in other parts, he seems completely, without-a-doubt insane. And then I find myself agreeing with some of the things he wrote and start wondering, "Am I insane, too?"
yooperprof on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sir Clifford Chatterley (partially a self-portrait of author D.H. Lawrence) is a frustrated writer who thinks he knows Everything about Everything, but he is actually an embittered and impotent World War I veteran suffering from PTSD. His wife Connie finds solace in his gamekeeper's hut and in the gamekeeper's bed, discovering The Joy of Sex decades before Alex Comfort coined the term.Here, the prose of Lawrence is occasionally purple, it is occasionally profane, it is occasionally full of nearly incomprehensible dialect. But it's never dull. However, if you laugh whenever you see the words "loins" or "bowels" in connection with human intercourse, you might want to avoid this book!!!