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.
This short novel is one of my Lawrence favourites.
In it there are four characters, if you include the fox! The setting is a farm in England during the 1st World War. Jill Banford and Ellen March are two women in their late 20s, who run the farm without any male help. They are having a lesbian relationship. A fox disturbs their quiet existence by killing some of their hens. As March is the more masculine of the two she takes on the role of hunter, but finds she cannot kill the fox. He seems to have an animal, instinctual, male power over her.
A man, Henry Grenfield, arrives and quickly attends to all the things that need sorting on the farm. He is interested in March and soon arouses a similar interest in her for him. The rest of the story details the fight for Ellen between Jill and Henry. Henry, as part of this fight, kills the fox. This is presented by Lawrence in an almost mystical way, as Henry describes how his will and his desire will triumph over the fox's will and desire.
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.