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Women in Love is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence published in 1920. It is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Lawrence contrasts this pair with the love that develops between Ursula and Rupert Birkin, an alienated intellectual who articulates many opinions associated with the author.
The emotional relationships thus established are given further depth and tension by an unadmitted homoerotic attraction between Gerald and Rupert. The novel ranges over the whole of British society at the time of the First World War and eventually ends high up in the snows of the Swiss Alps.As with most of Lawrence's works, Women in Love caused controversy over its sexual subject matter.
One early reviewer said of it, "I do not claim to be a literary critic, but I know dirt when I smell it, and here is dirt in heaps - festering, putrid heaps which smell to high Heaven."
About the Author
David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works, among other things, represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, some of the issues Lawrence explores are emotional health, vitality, spontaneity and instinct.
Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents.
E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, "The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel.
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 The Rainbow, you might like Lawrence's Women in Love, also available in Penguin Classics. 'A brave and important book, passionate and wildly ambitious'Independent on Sunday.
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