Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover

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Overview

Perhaps the most famous of Lawrence's novels, Lady Chatterley's Lover is no longer distinguished for the once-shockingly explicit treatment of its subject matter--the adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the game keeper who works for the estate owned by her wheel chaired husband. Now that we're used to reading about sex, and seeing it in the movies, it's apparent that the novel is memorable for better reasons: namely, that Lawrence was a masterful and lyrical writer, whose story takes us bodily into the world of its characters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982658656
Publisher: Naxos
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.70(h) x (d)

About the Author

The son of a miner, the prolific novelist, poet, and travel writer David Herbert Lawrence was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, in 1885. He attended Nottingham University and found employment as a schoolteacher. His first novel, The White Peacock, was published in 1911, the same year his beloved mother died and he quit teaching after contracting pneumonia. The next year Lawrence published Sons and Lovers and ran off to Germany with Frieda Weekley, his former tutor’s wife. His masterpieces The Rainbow and Women in Love were completed in quick succession, but the first was suppressed as indecent and the second was not published until 1920. Lawrence’s lyrical writings challenged convention, promoting a return to an ideal of nature where sex is seen as a sacrament. In 1928 Lawrence’s final novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was banned in England and the United States for indecency. He died of tuberculosis in 1930 in Venice.

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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