Women in Love: (A Modern Library E-Book) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

D.H. Lawrence's magnificent exploration of human sexuality in the days surrounding World War I. 'Let us hesitate no longer to announce that the sensual passions and mysteries are equally sacred with the spiritual mysteries and passions,' wrote D.H. Lawrence in Women In Love, a masterpiece that heralded the erotic consciousness of the twentieth century. Echoing elements of...
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Women in Love: (A Modern Library E-Book)

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Overview

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

D.H. Lawrence's magnificent exploration of human sexuality in the days surrounding World War I. 'Let us hesitate no longer to announce that the sensual passions and mysteries are equally sacred with the spiritual mysteries and passions,' wrote D.H. Lawrence in Women In Love, a masterpiece that heralded the erotic consciousness of the twentieth century. Echoing elements of Lawrence's own life, Women In Love delves into the mysteries between men and women as two couples strive for love against a haunting backdrop of coal
mines, factories, and a beleaguered working class.

New introduction by Louis Menand.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"His masterpiece.... An astonishing work that moves on several levels.... Lawrence compels us to admit that we live less finely than we should, whatever we are." —-The New York Review of Books
From Barnes & Noble
A sequel to the banned novel, The Rainblow, Women in Love follows the tumultuous lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Turning his keen eye on the nature of love, commitment, passion, and marriage, Lawrence gives us the stories of two intelligent, incisive, and observant women, whose temperamental differences spark an ongoing debate regarding their society and their inner lives. The two very different sisters pursue thrilling, torrid affairs; but their quest for more mature emotional relationships uncovers some startling information about tehir lvoers and themselves.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679641667
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Series: Modern Library 100 Best Novels
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 728 KB

Meet the Author

D. H. Lawrence was born on September 11, 1885, in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England. His father was a coal miner, his mother a former lace worker and unsuccessful haberdasher. He began school just before the age of four, but respiratory illness and a weak constitution forced him to remain home intermittently. Two months before his sixteenth birthday, he went to work as a clerk in a badly ventilated factory that made medical supplies, and eventually contracted pneumonia. After a long convalescence, he got a job as a student teacher, but privately he resolved to become a poet. He began writing seriously in 1906 and entered University College, Nottingham, to earn his teacher's certificate. Two years later he started teaching elementary school full time. He published his first poems in the English Review in 1909. When he contracted pneumonia a second time, he gave up teaching.

His first two novels, The White Peacock and The Trespasser, were published in 1911 and 1912. About three weeks after the publication of The Trespasser, he left England with Frieda Weekley, née von Richthofen, the German wife of Ernest Weekley, a British linguist who had been his French and German instructor at University College. He wrote the final version of his autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers (1913)--begun when his mother was dying of cancer in 1910--during their year-long courtship in Germany and Italy. It was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama, but, like most of Lawrence's novels during his lifetime, sold poorly. They married in London in July 1914, immediately after Frieda's divorce became final, and lived peripatetically and in relative poverty.

They spent World War I in England, a country they both essentially disliked, and endured a series of clumsy surveillance and harassment campaigns by local police because of her nationality (several of her relatives were diplomats, statesmen, and politicians, and she was a distant cousin of Manfred von Richthofen, the 'Red Baron') and his apparent lack of patriotism (among other charges, The Prussian Officer, a collection of stories, published in November 1914, several months after Great Britain entered the war, was considered politically and morally offensive by conservative booksellers). Exempt from active service because of his health, he wrote The Rainbow and Women in Love, arguably his two greatest novels. The former was seized and burned by the police for indecency in November 1915, two months after publication; Lawrence was unable to find a publisher for the latter until six years later. Composition of these two novels coincided with bouts of erratic behavior in Lawrence that bordered on mental instability, sexual confusion and experimentation that threatened to undermine his marriage, and endless health reversals, including a diagnosis of tuberculosis. Twilight in Italy, a collection of acerbic travel essays believed by some to show a sympathy for fascism that became more explicit in, for example, his novel The Plumed Serpent (1926), was published in 1916. He recorded the vicissitudes of his marriage in an autobiographical poem cycle, Look! We Have Come Through (1917).

The Lawrences departed for Europe in late 1919 and spent most of the next two years in Italy and Germany. The Lost Girl, a novel, was published in 1920 and received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize the following year, which also saw the publication of Movements in European History, a text for schoolchildren; Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious, an anti-Freudian tract; Tortoises, a collection of poems; Sea and Sardinia, a travel book; and, belatedly, Women in Love. Early in 1922 he and Frieda went around the world by boat. They visited Ceylon, lived in Australia for a month and a half, and in the summer sailed to America, where they settled in New Mexico. Aaron's Rod, a novel; Fantasia of the Unconscious, a sequel to Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious; and England, My England, a collection of stories, were published that year. In the spring of 1923, after moving to Mexico, he and Frieda separated temporarily. He toured the western United States and briefly returned to Mexico; she moved to London. Kangaroo, his novel of Australia, and Birds, Beasts, and Flowers, a collection of poems, were published in the fall. He returned to Frieda in the winter. They went to New Mexico again in the spring of 1924; he suffered bouts of influenza, malaria, and typhoid fever the next year. The Lawrences eventually resettled in Italy in 1926.

He began writing his last novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover, in 1926. It was published two years later and banned in England and the United States as pornographic. An avid amateur painter, a selection of his paintings--grossly rendered, full-figured representational nudes--was exhibited in London in 1929. The show was raided on July 5 by the police, who removed thirteen of the canvases. Lawrence coincidentally suffered a violent tubercular hemorrhage in Italy the same day. He went to Bavaria to undergo a cure--it was unsuccessful--and in 1930 entered a sanatorium in Vence, France, where treatment similarly failed. He died in a villa in Vence on the night of March 2, a half year short of his forty-fifth birthday, and was buried in a local cemetery. His body was eventually disinterred and cremated, and his ashes transported to Frieda Lawrence's ranch outside Taos, New Mexico. In addition to numerous plays, collections of poetry, and other, lesser known works published during his lifetime, his novels The Virgin and the Gypsy and Mr. Noon were published posthumously.

Biography

Born in Nottinghamshire, England, D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) was the author of a remarkable array of novels, stories, poetry, literary criticism, and travel writing, including the novels Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, and Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Herbert Richard Lawrence. Called "Bert" by his family. Jessie Chambers and Lawrence H. Davison are pseudonyms.
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 11, 1885
    2. Place of Birth:
      Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      March 2, 1930
    2. Place of Death:
      Vence, France

Read an Excerpt

Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the window-bay of their father's house in Beldover, working and talking. Ursula was stitching a piece of brightly-coloured embroidery, and Gudrun was drawing upon a board which she held on her knee. They were mostly silent, talking as their thoughts strayed through their minds.

'Ursula,' said Gudrun, 'don't you really want to get married?' Ursula laid her embroidery in her lap and looked up. Her face was calm and considerate.

'I don't know,' she replied. 'It depends how you mean.'

Gudrun was slightly taken aback. She watched her sister for some moments.

'Well,' she said, ironically, 'it usually means one thing! But don't you think anyhow, you'd be--' she darkened slightly-- 'in a better position than you are in now?'

A shadow came over Ursula's face.

'I might,' she said. 'But I'm not sure.'

Again Gudrun paused, slightly irritated. She wanted to be quite definite.

'You don't think one needs the experience of having been married?' she asked.

'Do you think it need be an experience?' replied Ursula.

'Bound to be, in some way or other,' said Gudrun, coolly. 'Possibly undesirable, but bound to be an experience of some sort.'

'Not really,' said Ursula. 'More likely to be the end of experience.'

Gudrun sat very still, to attend to this.

'Of course,' she said, 'there's that to consider.' This brought the conversation to a close. Gudrun, almost angrily, took up her rubber and began to rub out part of her drawing. Ursula stitched absorbedly.

'You wouldn't consider a good offer?' asked Gudrun.

'I think I've rejected several,' said Ursula.

'Really!' Gudrun flushed dark--'But anything really worth while? Have you really?'

'A thousand a year, and an awfully nice man. I liked him awfully,' said Ursula.

'Really! But weren't you fearfully tempted?'

'In the abstract but not in the concrete,' said Ursula. 'When it comes to the point, one isn't even tempted--oh, if I were tempted, I'd marry like a shot. I'm only tempted not to.' The faces of both sisters suddenly lit up with amusement.

'Isn't it an amazing thing,' cried Gudrun, 'how strong the temptation is, not to!' They both laughed, looking at each other. In their hearts they were frightened.

There was a long pause, whilst Ursula stitched and Gudrun went on with her sketch. The sisters were women. Ursula twenty-six, and Gudrun twenty-five. But both had the remote, virgin look of modern girls, sisters of Artemis rather than of Hebe. Gudrun was very beautiful, passive, soft-skinned, soft-limbed. She wore a dress of dark-blue silky stuff, with ruches of blue and green linen lace in the neck and sleeves and she had emerald-green stockings. Her look of confidence and diffidence contrasted with Ursula's sensitive expectancy. The provincial people, intimidated by Gudrun's perfect sang-froid and exclusive bareness of manner, said of her: 'She is a smart woman.' She had just come back from London, where she had spent several years, working at an art-school, as a student, and living a studio life.

'I was hoping now for a man to come along,' Gudrun said, suddenly catching her underlip between her teeth, and making a strange grimace, half sly smiling, half anguish. Ursula was afraid.

'So you have come home, expecting him here?' she laughed.

'Oh my dear,' cried Gudrun, strident, 'I wouldn't go out of my way to look for him. But if there did happen to come along a highly attractive individual of sufficient means--well--' she tailed off ironically. Then she looked searchingly at Ursula, as if to probe her. 'Don't you find yourself getting bored?' she asked of her sister. 'Don't you find, that things fail to materialize? Nothing materializes! Everything withers in the bud.'

'What withers in the bud?' asked Ursula.

'Oh, everything--oneself--things in general.' There was a pause, whilst each sister vaguely considered her fate.

'It does frighten one,' said Ursula, and again there was a pause. 'But do you hope to get anywhere by just marrying?'

'It seems to be the inevitable next step,' said Gudrun. Ursula pondered this, with a little bitterness. She was a class mistress herself, in Willey Green Grammar School, as she had been for some years.

'I know,' she said, 'it seems like that when one thinks in the abstract. But really imagine it: imagine any man one knows, imagine him coming home to one every evening, and saying 'Hello,' and giving one a kiss--'

There was a blank pause.

'Yes,' said Gudrun, in a narrowed voice. 'It's just impossible. The man makes it impossible.'

'Of course there's children--' said Ursula doubtfully.

Gudrun's face hardened.

'Do you really want children, Ursula?' she asked coldly. A dazzled, baffled look came on Ursula's face.

'One feels it is still beyond one,' she said.

'Do you feel like that?' asked Gudrun. 'I get no feeling whatever from the thought of bearing children.'

Gudrun looked at Ursula with a mask-like, expressionless face. Ursula knitted her brows.

'Perhaps it isn't genuine,' she faltered. 'Perhaps one doesn't really want them, in one's soul--only superficially.' A hardness came over Gudrun's face. She did not want to be too definite.

'When one thinks of other people's children--' said Ursula.

Again Gudrun looked at her sister, almost hostile.

'Exactly,' she said, to close the conversation.

The two sisters worked on in silence, Ursula having always that strange brightness of an essential flame that was caught, meshed, contravened. She lived a good deal by herself, to herself, working, passing on from day to day, and always thinking, trying to lay hold on life, to grasp it in her own understanding. Her active living was suspended, but underneath, in the darkness, something was coming to pass. If only she could break through the last integuments! She seemed to try and put her hands out, like an infant in the womb, and she could not, not yet. Still she had a strange prescience, an intimation of something yet to come.

She laid down her work, and looked at her sister. She thought Gudrun so charming, so infinitely charming, in her softness and her fine, exquisite richness of texture and delicacy of line. There was a certain playfulness about her too, such a piquancy or ironic suggestion, such an untouched reserve. Ursula admired her with all her soul.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 85 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(16)

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(22)

2 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2000

    Confusing

    This book is confusing from the first page and up. I read it for school and I don't recomend it to anyone in high school. The main character in this book is strange and doesn't know what he wants , I found myself angry every time I read it.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2002

    More aptly titled "What is Love?"

    It is hard to give a definite thumbs-up or thumbs-down to this this story. On the one hand, it is very disjointed. It is filled with many long inner monologues that have no relationship with each other. The ending is bizarre and unsatisfying. On the other hand, the writing is brilliant and beautiful. When there is diaglogue and interaction between the characters, the story comes back to life. The study of human nature, and the differences in what all people (not just men vs. women) want in love is very insightful. It is certainly not a book for everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2001

    An endless human cycle

    Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence is a sequel, but knowledge of The Rainbow is not necessary to appreciate the second novel. The title is somewhat misleading, as it is really about women and men, men and women, and men and men¿and it's not always clear with what they are in love. It is the tale of two teachers, sisters Gudrun and Ursula Brangwen, the son of the local mine owner, Gerald Crich, and school inspector Rupert Birkin. Their complex relationships start to take shape the day of Gerald's sister's wedding, as Gudrun and Gerald and Ursula and Rupert are drawn together, often despite themselves. The Gudrun/Gerald relationship becomes a series of conflicts that are won only temporarily and that lead to more conflicts and then temporary reprieves of tenderness and sex. His emotional conflicts with Gudrun are mirrored in Gerald's dealings with animals; he brutally forces his mare to stay at a railroad crossing despite her terror until blood is drawn and until the cars have passed. Later, when his sister's rabbit resists being picked up so he can be sketched, Gerald punches him in the head so he will submit instantly. His blind will must triumph in all. The only time that he and Gudrun seem to find an equilibrium is when they balance each other by accepting but not gravitating toward each other. It becomes a tenuous relatonship at best and a dangerous one at worst. Gerald is incapable of love, as is his brooding mother. Meanwhile, Ursula finds herself in a different kind of battle, with Rupert and his self-contemptous philosophies about relationships, death, and the will. His vision of love, if he even believes it exists, is of two planets circling one another in perfect equilibrium. He did not find that with his former lover Hermione, who does not satisfy his physical desires and who does not calibrate with his spiritual needs. At the end of the novel, he reinforces what he has said all along¿his love will always have a missing component and be incomplete without it. As a side note, Rupert seems to be Lawrence's own mouthpiece, reflecting many of his own views. As with Lady Chatterley's lover, the setting for Women in Love becomes a character¿the grimy village, the sordid town, the sullen miners and their wives provide a backdrop of inevitable modernization and dehumanization that counterbalances the individual stories. As mining is mechanized to death, so is the human soul. The will either accepts the inevitable crush of the modern world or fights it to the death. The weakest part of Women in Love may be when the setting changes, that is, when the couples decide to leave all that England has become and to take their relationships and their futures to the Alps, where they find art truly does imitate life with its mechanism. The novel seems to lose a little of its footing at this point, giving in to its tendency to become an intellectual exercise in the arts rather than a human story in a regimented world. Women in Love starts out slowly, as a lengthy series of vignettes and conversations that seem unlikely or unrealistic, but develops a crescendo as the battles begin. In the end, despite dramatic events and drastic changes, the conundrums remain, and even Ursula's persistence and will cannot eliminate them now, let alone forever. Women in Love is about destruction and regeneration in an endless cycle and the human under the surface that we are not entirely aware of and cannot express.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    Lawrence thinks ahead of his time

    By far what I found most interesting about this novel was the relationship between Gerald and Birkin. These two men are involved in an emotional dependency...that sometimes verges on erotic...but they are unsure of what do do with their feelings, in light of social propriety and the current age in which they live. The last two pages of the novel, to me, make the book worth reading. It totally sums up the entire book in a seemingly simple conversation between Birkin and his wife Ursula. Why shouldn't he be allowed a different kind of love? Why isn't this the way? Why is it considered unnatural? Makes you think.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    AspenFeather

    She walked over and laied with him

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Faloneye

    Hello. He lied down. Care to join me?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Makes you think

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