Widely regarded as D. H. Lawrence's greatest novel, "Women in Love" is both a lucid account of English society before the First World War, and a brilliant evocation of the inexorable power of human desire. This "Penguin Classics" edition includes a new introduction by Amit Chaudhuri. "Women in Love" continues where "The Rainbow" left off, with the ...
Widely regarded as D. H. Lawrence's greatest novel, "Women in Love" is both a lucid account of English society before the First World War, and a brilliant evocation of the inexorable power of human desire. This "Penguin Classics" edition includes a new introduction by Amit Chaudhuri. "Women in Love" continues where "The Rainbow" left off, with the third generation of Brangwens: Ursula Brangwen, now a teacher at Beldover, a mining town in the Midlands, and her sister Gudrun, who has returned from art school in London. The focus of the novel is primarily on their relationships, Ursula's with Rupert Birkin, a school inspector, and Gudrun's with industrialist Gerald Crich, and later with a sculptor, Loerke. Quintessentially modernist, "Women is Love" is one of Lawrence's most extraordinary, innovative and unsettling works. In his introduction Amit Chaudhuri discusses Lawrence's style and imagery. This introduction also includes a chronology of Lawrence's life and work, further reading, notes and appendices containing the original foreword to "Women in Love", a fragment of "The Sisters", "Prologue" and "Wedding" chapters from an earlier draft, a map and discussion of the setting and people involved. D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), English novelist, storywriter, critic, poet and painter, one of the greatest figures in 20th-century English literature. Lawrence published "Sons and Lovers" in 1913, but "The Rainbow", completed in 1915, was declared obscene and banned two months after first publication; and for three years he could not find a publisher for "Women in Love", which he completed in 1917. His last novel, "Lady Chatterley's Lover", was published in 1928, but banned in England and America. If you enjoyed "Women in Love", you might like Virginia Woolf's "Night and Day", also available in "Penguin Classics". "His genius was for instant perception and vivid, passionate expression". ("The Times"). "His masterpiece...Lawrence compels us to admit that we live less finely than we should". ("New York Review of Books").
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Asked to name the ten greatest novels of the 20th Century very few well read people would leave this explosive, sensitive novel off the list. Lawrence had so many artistic talents - poet, essayist, travel writer, painter. But above all his best novels display all of these talents; and none more so than "Women in Love."
Many may disagree with his convictions that drive his characters in this powerfully unfolding tale, but somehow faulting what Lawrence believes, or for that matter, what his creations do to themselves and others, seems especially beside the point, as the poetic passion simply drowns any cool headed intellectual attempt to reduce the raw recreation of experience with such precision.
This is not suggest that Lawrence lacked the deep intelligence to delve into what it means to be human and expose the frailty of his passionate conduct. He senses with a sure instinct that it is this very passion that makes us all so vulnerable. Yet, he nevertheless shows us in scene after unfolding scene that being false to our true selves leads to even greater misery: the reductive misery of unfulfillment..
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