Lady Chatterley’s Lover By D H Lawrence was original published in France in 1928 and Italy in 1929, however in His own country the United Kingdom it was not published without being unexpurgated (a form of censorship of obnoxious words from books.) until after the court case of 1960.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Wordsworth Classics)

Synopsis

Lady Chatterley’s Lover,is the story of Constance Reid, Lady Chatterley, whose husband, Sir Clifford Chatterley, a handsome, man,who was paralysed from the waist down due to his service in World War I.

Along with Clifford’s physical limitations, the emotional neglect of his wife Constance forces a distance between the couple.

Constance emotional frustration leads her into an affair with Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper.

The story examines how Constance needs both a mental and physical relationship to live.

This realization happens because of the way Constance, only feels with Mellors, suggesting that love can only happen with both the body and the mind.

Characters

Lady Chatterley

The protagonist of the novel. Before her marriage, she was knon as Constance Reid, social progressive, the daughter of Sir Malcolm and the sister of Hilda. When she marries Clifford Chatterley, Constance–or, as she is known throughout the book Connie– becomes Lady Chatterley.

Oliver Mellors

The lover of the novel’s title. Mellors is the gamekeeper on the Chatterley’s estate, Wragby. He is sarcastic, intelligent and noble. He was born near Wragby, working as a blacksmith until he ran off to the army to escape an unhappy marriage.

Clifford Chatterley

Connie’s husband. Clifford, is a minor nobleman who becomes paralyzed from the waist down during World War I. because of the injury, Clifford is impotent. He retires to his familial estate, Wragby, where he becomes first a successful writer.

Mrs. Bolton

Ivy Bolton is Clifford’s nurse and caretaker. She is a competent, complex, still-attractive middle-aged woman. Years before the action in this novel, her husband died in an accident in the mines owned by Clifford’s family. Even as Mrs. Bolton resents Clifford as the owner of the mines

Quotes

“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragiclly.”

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

“The world is a raving idiot, and no man can kill it: though I’ll do my best. But you’re right. We must rescue ourselves as best we can.”

“A man could no longer be private and withdrawn. The world allows no hermits.”

image of dh lawrence
D.H. Lawrence

“She rose slowly. She didn’t want to go. She also rather resented staying.”

“He resented the intrusion, he cherished his solitude as his only and last freedom in life.”

Controversy

Lady Chatterley’s lover was published in Britain in 1932 by Martin Secker

An edited edition of the novel was published in Britain in 1932 by Martin Secker; while, reviewing in The Observer, the journalist Gerald Gould in The Observer, newspaper, said:

  “passages are necessarily omitted to which the author undoubtedly attached supreme psychological importance – importance so great, that he was willing to face obloquy and misunderstanding and censorship because of them”

The Observer

Obcenity Trial
R v Penguin Books Ltd

In 1960 Penguin Books published an unexpurgated Lady Chatterley’s Lover  by P

Penguin books were tried under the Obscene Publications Act 1959, a test of the new obscenity law.

The 1959 Act had made it possible for publishers to escape conviction if they could show it had literary merit.

One of the objections was to the frequent use of the word “f***” and its derivatives. .

A number of critics and experts including E. M. Forster, were called as witnesses,

On the 2 November 1960, the verdict was “not guilty”. Which gave more freedom for publishing explicit material in the United Kingdom.

The chief prosecutor, Mervyn Griffith-Jones, was made fun of when he asked if it were the kind of book:-

 “you would wish your wife or servants to read”.

The Penguin Second Edition

In 1961, the Penguin second edition, published in contains a publisher’s dedication, which reads:

 “For having published this book, Penguin Books was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act, 1959 at the Old Bailey in London from 20 October to 2 November 1960. This edition is therefore dedicated to the twelve jurors, three women and nine men, who returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ and thus made D. H. Lawrence’s last novel available for the first time to the public in the United Kingdom”.

In 2006, the trial was dramatized in The Chatterley Affair. by BBC Wales

About D. H. Lawrence

Birth and Early life

D H Lawrence, was born on the 11th September 1885, the fourth child of Arthur John Lawrence a a minor and  Lydia Beardsall manual lace worker all though she had worked as a pupil-teacher until her family experienced financial   difficulty.

Spending his early life in Eastwood,a working classm mining town in Nottinghamshire and the difficult relationship between his parents, provided the raw material for a number of his early works.

Living in Nottinghamshire allowed him to roam around, from an early age in the patches and the remaining fragments of Sherwood Forest. This gave him a life long love of nature and he wrote about ‘The country of his heart’ in his fiction.

Education

Between 1902-06 Lawrence served as a pupil-teacher, at a school in Eastwood, before getting his teaching degree from University College, Nottingham.

In 1907 Lawrence won a  short story competition run by the newspaper, Nottinghamshire Guardian.

In 1912, Lawrence met Frieda Weekley a German national, while being six years his senior she was the person he was to spend the rest of his life with. Six years his senior, she was married to Ernest Weekley, his former modern languages professor.

Before World War I

Leaving England for Metz,although it was in Germany, it was near the disputed border with France. Which meant that he experienced his first encounter with the tensions between Germany and France, After being accused of being a British spy. 

After being released Lawrence and Freda left for a small hamlet to the south of Munich for their “honeymoon”, later the inspiration for a series of love poems titled Look! We Have Come Through (1917).

During this time Lawrence and Freda walked across the Alps to Italy and returned to England for a short while in 1913.

Returning to Italy after their stay in England he started working on the books which would become The Rainbow and Woman in Love.

After returning to England in 1914 Freda now divorced from Ernest Weekley, the two were married on the 13th July 1914.

World War I and Afterwards

Unfortunately the marriage with Freda happened just before Britain was at war with Germany. This along with his contempt with militarism, meant that he lived in near desolation during the war in Cornwall.

While in Cornwall Lawrence was once again accrued of being a spy this time for the Germans and only just survived a severe attack of influenza.[

After the war he mainly lived aborad only returning to England for short periods. Eventually leving England finally for the last time after a breif stay in 1923.

Death and Burial

Lawrence died on the 2nd March 1930 aged 44, of tuberculosis complications t the Villa Robermond in Vence, France.

After the death of Lawrence Freda moved to Taos New Mexico, to live with Angelo Ravagli whom she married in 1950.

In 1935, Ravagli and Frieda’s behalf, had the  body  body of Lawrence exhumed and cremated and his ashes brought back to the ranch and put in a small chapel surrounded by the mountains of New Mexico.

Films

Movie NameNationaltyRelease Date
L’Amant de lady ChatterleyFrance1955
Edakallu Guddada MeleIndian Kannada language1973
Young Lady ChatterleyAmerican1977
SharapancharamIndian Malayalam language1979
Lady Chatterley’s LoverFrance1981
Lady Chatterley (BBCtv)United Kingdom1993
Milenec lady ChatterleyovéCzech television1998
Lady ChaterleyFrench2006
Lady Chatterley’s Daughter
(Lady Chatterley’s Ghost)
American2011
Lady Chatterley’s LoverUnited Kingdom2015
Selected versions
Lady Chatterley [DVD] [1993]

Bibliography

 

Books

TitlePublication DateReviewBuy From Amazon
The White Peacock1911GoodreadsBuy
The Trespasser1912
Goodreads
Buy
Sons and Lovers1913My ReviewBuy
The Rainbow1915GoodreadsBuy
Women in Love1920GoodreadsBuy
The Lost Girl1920GoodreadsBuy
Aaron’s Rod1922GoodreadsBuy
Kangaro1923GoodreadsBuy
The Boy in the Bush1924GoodreadsBuy
The Plumed Serpent 1926GoodreadsBuy
Lady Chatterley’s Lover1928GoodreadsBuy
The Escaped Cock
re-published as The Man Who Died
1929GoodreadsBuy
books

Short Stories Collections

Title published
The Prussian Officer and Other Stories 1914
England, My England and Other Stories 1922
The Horse Dealer’s Daughter1922
The Fox, The Captain’s Doll, The Ladybird 1923
St Mawr and other stories1925
The Woman who Rode Away and other stories1928
The Rocking-Horse Winner1926
Mother and Daughter1929
The Virgin and the Gipsy and Other Stories1939
Love Among the Haystacks and other stories1930
The Tales of D.H. Lawrence1934
Collected Stories1994

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