on 26 July 2007
Due to the popularity of novels like 'Women in Love', 'Sons and Lovers' and 'The Rainbow', it is often forgotten that D.H. Lawrence was also an exceptionally gifted short-story writer. This triptych of stories forms a cohesive whole, and the stories complement one another whilst remaining sufficiently individuated to stand out on their own. Each story weighs in at around 60-70 pages long.
The first story, 'The Fox' has a gothic feel, mixing animal mythology and psychological drama. Lawrence skillfully creates a claustrophobic ambience around the three main characters and each one of the them is perfectly scripted.
'The Captain's Doll' is next up, transporting the reader into the Tyrol, and featuring some dizzying descriptive writing of its icy landscapes. Again, this story is heavy on the psychological warfare between the main protagonists, the writing evocative of the later stages of 'Women in Love'.
The final story in the collection, 'The Ladybird' is suitably the most metaphysical and philosophical, containing plenty of musing about death and re-birth. The tone of this story contrasts to the others, and there is a likeness to the famous poem 'Bavarian Gentians', but again it is a story that involves your emotions and repeats beguiling symbols and images.
This is a collection of short stories for anyone interested in classic writing but who also wants to be entertained. The mark of Lawrence's best writing is that it combines technical excellence with fluidity and emotion, and this is no exception.