(1915) Dedicated to Else
A Play in Three Acts (1919)
(1920) Women In Love, the book Lawrence considered his best, was written during World War I, and while that conflict is never mentioned in the novel, a sense of background danger, of lurking catastrophe, continually informs its drama of two couples dynamically engaged in a struggle with themselves, with each other, and with life's intractable limitations. Lawrence was a powerful, prophetic writer, but in addition he brought such delicacy to his treatment of the human and natural worlds that E. M. Forster's claim that he was the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation does him too little justice rather than too much.
(1913) Sons and Lovers was the first modern portrayal of a phenomenon that later, thanks to Freud, became easily recognizable as the Oedipus complex. Never was a son more indentured to his mother's love and full of hatred for his father than Paul Morel, D.H. Lawrence's young protagonist. Never, that is, except perhaps Lawrence himself. In his 1913 novel he grappled with the discordant loves that haunted him all his life--for his spiritual childhood sweetheart, here called Miriam, and for his mother, whom he transformed into Mrs. Morel. It is, by Lawrence's own account, a book aimed at depicting this woman's grasp: "as her sons grow up she selects them as lovers--first the eldest, then the second. These sons are urged into life by their reciprocal love of their mother--urged on and on. But when they come to manhood, they can't love, because their mother is the strongest power in their lives." Of course, Mrs. Morel takes neither of her two elder sons (the first of whom dies early, which further intensifies her grip on Paul) as a literal lover, but nonetheless her psychological snare is immense. She loathes Paul's Miriam from the start, understanding that the girl's deep love of her son will oust her: "She's not like an ordinary woman, who can leave me my share in him. She wants to absorb him." Meanwhile, Paul plays his part with equal fervor, incapable of committing himself in either direction: "Why did his mother sit at home and suffer?... And why did he hate Miriam, and feel so cruel towards her, at the thought of his mother. If Miriam caused his mother suffering, then he hated her--and he easily hated her." Soon thereafter he even confesses to his mother: "I really don't love her. I talk to her, but I want to come home to you." The result of all this is that Paul throws Miriam over for a married suffragette, Clara Dawes, who fulfills the sexual component of his ascent to manhood but leaves him, as ever, without a complete relationship to challenge his love for his mother. As Paul voyages from the working-class mining world to the spheres of commerce and art (he has fair success as a painter), he accepts that his own achievements must be equally his mother's. "There was so much to come out of him. Life for her was rich with promise. She was to see herself fulfilled... All his work was hers." The cycles of Paul's relationships with these three women are terrifying at times, and Lawrence does nothing to dim their intensity. Nor does he shirk in his vivid, sensuous descriptions of the landscape that offers up its blossoms and beasts and "shimmeriness" to Paul's sensitive spirit. Sons and Lovers lays fully bare the souls of men and earth. Few books tell such whole, complicated truths about the permutations of love as resolutely without resolution. It's nothing short of searing to be brushed by humanity in this manner.
With Eight Illustrations by Jan Juta and a Map by The Author. (1921)
(1911) "A book of real distinction both of style and thought. Many of the descriptive passages have an almost lyrical charm and the characterisation is generally speaking deft and life-like. 'The White Peacock' is a book not only worth reading but worth reckoning with, for we are inclined to think the author has come to stay."桾he Morning Post. "That it has elements of greatness few will deny. Mr. Heinemann is, once again, to be congratulated on a writer of promise."桾he Observer.
A collection of short stories written between 1913 and 1921.
Perhaps the most famous of Lawrence's novels, it 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 wheelchair bound 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. -- Of the many exquisite books written by D.H.Lawrence, the book which has gained the most popularity has been Lady Chatterley's Lover. Most famous because of its obscenity trial during the 1960's, Lady Chatterley's Lover is far from a "dirty book." Rather, through his usage of local vernacular and an in depth look at the true relationship between two humans, Lawrence has successfully portrayed sex as sacred in a world where sex is viewed as nothing more than physical pleasure. This novel is a masterful example of a writer going back to everyone's common roots and emerging with a thought provoking masterpiece designed to affect a change within its readers. Good literature announces to the world a common truth that needs to be shared, but great literature, like Lady Chatterley's Lover, provokes a revolution within the human psyche. Lady Chatterley reshapes the individual's views on sex, love, and everything accompanying what Lawrence viewed as the ultimate act. Lady Chatterley's Lover is a true masterpiece that takes a stand against the sex-obsessed culture we live in today.--Submitted by Ann -- I loved this book. I am 60 years old (a young 60, or the new 40 as they say). I wish I had read this at 20, so I could compare my feelings for it today (hopefully, I would still remember the story). It could have been written today in that society is still the same only computers have been substituted for the coal mines. The coldness of some people; their selfishness; some men's total inability to think of the woman's lot in life-only their own; class distinction; rich vs. poor; the rich living off of the backs of the poor. The cruelness of gossip and jealousy, all so "popular" today, even more so with young girls and bullying, as mentioned in the storeyline. At first I had to ask myself if DH was actually a woman, as his thoughts are so familiar to me! But after reading about his childhood, I understand more his feelings.--Submitted by Kathi Gray