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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her will was lost in him..., 18 July 2014
By 
John P. Jones III (Albuquerque, NM, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Virgin and The Gipsy & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
D.H. Lawrence's remains are here in New Mexico, on his former ranch that the University of New Mexico refuses to maintain. The most likely story is that his ashes were "vitrified," that is, place in a large glass slab by his wife, Frieda, to whom this book is dedicated. UNM's position is that "no one reads Lawrence anymore" and besides, we have to have enough money to pay our (losing) football coach more than a million bucks a year. Ah, priorities. Admittedly the reviews on this book at Amazon are not numerous, and we can only "revive" him one read at a time. I recently re-read The Rainbow (Wordsworth Classics), and realized how much I had missed the first time around. And before I tackle the lengthy Sons and Lovers (Wordsworth Classics), thought a concise novella might be in order.

And I was not disappointed. Other reviewers have said that this novella is a "distillation" of themes expressed in his longer works, and I believe that is essential true. There is the dreary boredom of provincial English village life compounded by an unhappy and dysfunctional family that transcends three generations. The "Queen Bee" as it were, is "Granny" or "Mater," ugly and obese, who lords (ladies?) it over the other two generations. Her two immediate children are the somewhat non-believing rector and the very unhappy Cissie, who, from time immemorial, has been the "dutiful" daughter who has had to sacrifice her own happiness, and aspirations in life, in order to take care of her parents. The rector has two daughters, Lucille and Yvette, 20 and 19, who have part of their mother's genes in them (her mother had abandoned the rector and her two young children, to take off with a lover). The two daughters dream of escape from the boredom and unhappiness of home life, as so many others have, also from time immemorial. Like Picasso, who could draw an entire picture with 13 or so lines, Lawrence deftly draws his own scathing portrait of this family situation with a few well-chosen sentences.

Enter the Gipsy. Tall, dark, exotic. The strong Ying and Yang elements are at play. Borrow a little from Greek drama, and have a "prophesy" from a fortune told. The Gipsy is more than just a "hunk," though, as Lawrence provides some background that demonstrates some character, which might be useful in the end. It is inevitable, right? Well, Lawrence pulls a brilliant "seduction interruptus," and prolongs the action, as it were. And when I am in the climatic phase of the book, I go, wait a minute... I've been here before. Certainly not in these particulars, but I have seen the movie!! The Virgin And The Gypsy [1970] [DVD]. Almost forty years ago, and I had forgotten it, but it is hard to forget completely such a dramatic ending. I dare say that normally women initiate (or are initiated) into the art of love-making in far less traumatic circumstances.

This work would be an excellent introduction to Lawrence, for those who have yet to read him. 5-stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence at his best in this novella, 8 July 2013
By 
Brodie (Newcastle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Virgin and The Gipsy & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I love DH Lawrence books anyway, but this novella encapsulated a typical Lawrence style in just a few pages. The scenery descriptions are wonderful
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Central Female Character's Development into Womanhood, 19 Feb. 2011
By 
B. J. Holland (Gloucester England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Virgin and The Gipsy & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This is another great story by Lawrence, where he charts the emotional and sexual development of his central female character, Yvette. In it the power of the Gypsy as a conduit to Yvette's self- awareness is portrayed as almost mystical.

The novella has a list of strongly drawn characters. Her family, nasty characters all, apart from her sister, all have a view of what Yvette should be and that includes the boy who wants to marry her. Their expectations are stifling for the girl.

It takes a flood (for Lawrence a cleansing ablution) before Yvette can finally be free.

Reading, studying and then having the joy of sharing the work of Lawrence with young people, when I taught him at `A' Level has been one of the high points of my life.

In my own novel `A Song for Jo' Lawrence has an influence on the intellectual and emotional development of the two main characters, Jo and Chris, who are college students studying English. Other great literature from Keats, Emily Bronte and Shakespeare (and more) is worked into the narrative. It is a love story with a difference!

People of all ages and sex have enjoyed it.

It's available on Amazon - please follow the link.

A Song for Jo
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The Virgin and The Gipsy & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
The Virgin and The Gipsy & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) by D.H. Lawrence (Paperback - 5 Nov. 2004)
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