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Women in Love (Penguin Popular Classics) Paperback – 27 Sep 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (27 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014062161X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140621617
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 751,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." -- E.M. Forster --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Women in Love is a work of genius. It contains characters which are masterpieces of pure creation' New Statesman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Women in Love is the intensely successful sequel to The Rainbow. Originally the two novels were fused in one volume known as, 'The Sisters', but later Lawrence decided to split them, and revise them to create the two separate novels. Lawrence treats his characters with an emotional, linguistic and psychological intensity and delicacy that transmits the ideas, problems and feelings which Lawrence struggles continually to explain. It follows the progress of Ursula, the character pushed into view in The Rainbow, as she searches for a man who can embody and fulfil all her emotions, needs and wants. She finds this in Birkin as they struggle towards the Lawrentian goal of the true spiritual relationship. Also in the novel, appears Gudrun, similarly fighting for emotional, physical and mental success in Gerald. Throughout the novel, Lawrence holds the reader under his influence with his descriptive, repetitive language which seeks to persuade the reader towards his ideas. This novel which is highly enjoyable whether read alone or after The Rainbow, will lull the reader into the psychological depths of Lawrence's mind and leave him/her with a lasting impression of human relationships between man and woman.
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Format: Paperback
Lawrence's novel sets the scene just before the first world war in England, in atmosphere of anxious ignorance. Lawrence intimately explores the lives of the two sisters Gudrun and Ursula, as they discover what it is to be in love and the confusion of emotion that accompanies it. Gudrun falls in love with the charming Gerald whilst Ursula and Birkin embark on a more cynical and cautious affair; the different personalities of the sisters allow Lawrence to illustrate contrasting approaches to love and lust. The unique style, typical of Lawrence, takes the form of philosophical conversation in different scenarios, which is brought to life by the individuality of the characters and their beliefs. The issues that the novel raises are conveyed in a very personal way that allows Lawrence's mind to shine through his characters and additionally permits the reader a greater incite into the authors philosophies and vulnerability. Lawrence's attention to detail of the two protagonists displays his superb understanding of the human mind and sexual desire. This is a story that is strongly driven and created by its characters, who never allow the focus to waver or the reader to tire....
Other books that might be enjoyed: E M Forster, A Room with a View, D.H. Lawrence The Rainbow
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Format: Paperback
Having read this in my youth, when Lawrence was more appreciated than he is now, and not really getting what the fuss was about, I thought I'd give it another go. I remember finding it very difficult to understand Birkin's position, so did some reading up before hand to try and get me over the intellectual hurdles, including F.R. Leavis' book on Lawrence. Now I realise that I didn't get over the intellectual hurdles because Lawrence (and Leavis!) didn't either. The Lawrence figure in the novel, Birkin, always seems on the verge of saying something important, but he continually lapses into incoherent, extreme, or unattractive attitudes. For instance, he continually pours scorn on working class people, but at least they don't end up as a parasite like him.

Birkin is a school inspector and, in one of the better chapters, he shows that he's a good one, by explaining to Ursula, a school mistress, how to make her Botany lesson better by improving the kid's drawings in a way that increases the artistic and scientific impact. But he throws up this job to live on his private income, and drags Ursula away for some tedious ramblings on the continent. Note that Birkin doesn't actually do anything creative, he isn't an artist or a writer. As the other characters repeatedly point out, his views on large-scale intellectual & social issues are ridiculous and incoherent, so how could he be a writer? Only if he put his incoherent and useless ramblings in a novel and called it art. Birkin is a reserved character, so he sensibly avoids doing that, unfortunately Lawrence did not!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderful prose and characterization make this book interesting despite a rather rambling storyline, which is only partly about women in love and doesn't really get going until around half way.

The main characters are sisters Ursula and Gudrun, and their men friends Rupert and Gerald, but there are plenty of asides and these involve many other characters. In fact these side stories account for a significant chunk of the book, and are not always interesting!

The author gives a glimpse into early 20th century English middle class life, amidst all the changes wrought by industrialisation and increasing democratisation (political enfranchisement for male working class householders since 1884).

Three of the main characters are agnostic and the author has them expound all kinds of contemporary ideas and non traditional beliefs, which can be a tad boring.

This was the author's penultimate novel (1920) and has none of the passion that characterised his last novel, `Lady Chatterley's Lover' (1928).

A good read but the first half is a bit tedious.
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