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4.3 out of 5 stars45
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Over time D H Lawrence wrote three slightly different versions of this tale, but this is the third and final edition, the famous one that we all know about. It has been a while since I last read this, but I have read it a few times over the years, and it was lovely to come back to it. Because of the famous trial that surrounded Penguin releasing this in its unexpurgated state this novel has become somewhat tarnished with the impression that it is just a piece of erotica. There is sex here, and strong language, but the story itself has so much more to offer. In some ways Lawrence has managed to tap into the mindset of women with his ideas and explorations of them.

Constance Chatterley is married to Clifford, who during the First World War is injured to such an extent that he is paralysed from the waist down. Thus their marriage becomes something of a partnership of intellects. This starts off one of the underlying themes of the whole book, the question of what makes a complete and fulfilling relationship between two people. The other underlying theme is class structures. Throughout the book class rears its head. Clifford is upper class, Constance herself is originally middle class, and then the gamekeeper, Mellors, is working class. Even when we have described the home of the Chatterley's we can see that industry is not too far away; for instance the colliery that can be seen on the horizon, and the soot that rains down on the land. Clifford seems to be able to ignore this, as if it is all beneath him.

The story analyses how Constance wants more than just an intellectual relationship, and how she becomes dissatisfied with the sex with others that she does have, how once the man has had his jollies, he is not too concerned about the woman having her pleasure. With the yearning for a baby as well we can quite clearly see Constance's wishes and yearnings. With Clifford we can see how he alters and becomes quite attached to the nurse, the widow Mrs Bolton, treating her almost as a motherly figure.

Always an interesting read this can be in places grim and pessimistic, but also feels so real with Lawrence's prose, providing us with something that is both intelligent, thought provoking and fascinating.
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VINE VOICEon 8 September 2015
Only allowed in the country as a contraband import until the end of the Lady Chatterley trial edition that set the 60s swinging. What prevented the publication for so long was the sexual candour of Lawrence’s account of the affair between a society lady and her husband’s gamekeeper, its use of 4-letter words. Lawrence’s vehement denial this was pornography, ‘doing dirt on life’, was to reassert his belief in showing sexuality whole. Lawrence thought a lot had gone wrong with the country with industrialization and the 1st world war, with a breakdown in the establishment, the old hierarchies were inept. It was time for a shake-up and a shot from below. Lawrence’s best work was behind him( Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow and Women in Love) and he didn’t think he could write another novel 4 years before he died. Then following a revisit to the mining country where the pressures of industrialism were most evident; he shaped this creative response. He revolted against the higher centres, his subject natural man. He digs below personality into the ebb and flow of life : a major attack on industrialization with Constance finding renewal through her individual sexuality, which overturned the older social order, established as it was on wealth ,aristocracy and a hierarchical class system.

Lawrence’s writing is still good, its energy level has gone down, so that there is less complexity in the characterisation. Of course his writing ,though leaning heavily on natural observation, is symbolic. So that Clifford is a wheelchair-bound invalid, that is he’s of the aristocracy, but sexually impotent below the waist. To Lawrence the industrial wasteland has eaten up men’s souls with mechanisation, so that there’s no natural flow between men and women, between the masters and the servants. Things had to die before they could be reborn in an apocalyptic sense. Lawrence achieves a kind of tenderness between Mellors and Lady Chatterley using the chicks to ignite the spark and his use of dialect to earth the full-blooded sexuality. He uses the sleeping beauty myth to recover the human spirit from the 'base' forcing of industrialism. Western man was unhappy with the civilization he had made, progress was concomitant with destruction. Mellors has broken from his wife,Bertha Coutts,because their relationship is too physical, Connie is sexually frustrated with Clifford, because their relationship is all mind. Connie and Mellors have mind and body together. Her husband wills her to go with another man so she can have a baby,however this is to entail total commitment from both in sexual communion.
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on 29 September 2015
One of the greatest novels ever written. Thanks must always go to Penguin for publishing this novel and allowing English readers to enjoy those parts of the language that were previously replaced by asterisks. The recent BBC adaptation missed so much from the novel, mainly because of the corporation's own ridiculous ideas of censorship.
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on 17 October 2015
Despite the TV adaptations this was the real thing. Quite see what all the fuss was about because the F word was used too frequently when another word would do as well. Some of the TV adaptations were not in the book and the endings were completely different but did close the story off on a more positive note
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on 21 October 2015
I don't think my review would count but I thought this was a very interesting read with interesting characters. I found the book very well written for the days and can Deffinatly see why it is a classic. I would encourage all YA my age to read this book. I really enjoyed reading this book
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on 26 January 2016
Good classic. Really enjoyed it. I dont want to give away the plot but will say it is worth a read.
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on 3 August 2015
I have to read this over the summer as a homework before starting A Level English Lit in September and it's made me fall in love with old classic novels!
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on 4 February 2015
Excellent read
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on 18 October 2015
I read the book years ago but wanted to re read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it once again.
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on 14 March 2016
quick delivery, still reading, quite small writing
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