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Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence - Restored Modern Edition

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence - Restored Modern Edition (Paperback)

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence - Restored Modern Edition (Paperback)

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3 Stars
6 Ratings
Published by El Paso Norte Press

380 pages






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Rs. 1432

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D.H. Lawrence finished "Lady Chatterley's Lover" in 1928, but it was not published in an uncensored version until 1960.
Many contemporary critics of D.H. Lawrence viewed the Victorian love story as vulgar, and even pornographic. It was banned immediately upon publication in both the UK and the US. The obscenity trials which followed established legal precedents for literature which still endure.
At the heart, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" is a story about the invisible bond...

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Lady Chatterley's Lover,  

D.H. Lawrence,  

historical fiction,  

love story,  


2 Reviews of Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence - Restored Modern Edition (Paperback)

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Lady Chatterley's Lover is probably the most controversial and most misunderstood novel of the twentieth century. The time in which it first came out was one of the prima.. More details Lady Chatterley's Lover is probably the most controversial and most misunderstood novel of the twentieth century. The time in which it first came out was one of the primary reasons for its notoriety, but for the same reason it is also a highly commendable and one of the finest works of the time, proving Lawrence was a bold and brave man possessing courage to speak his mind within the realms of art, with the genius and understanding of a visionary.

The story revolves around a young married woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley) and her relationship with Oliver Mellors, gamekeeper of her husband's estate and born to a class that's beneath her and her husband's social standing.

Constance,the protagonist, called Connie throughout the novel, who hails from a Scottish bourgeois family marries Clifford Chatterley, a baronet who prides himself on his membership in the aristrocracy, however a small part that may be. Following the first World War, Clifford becomes paralyzed from the waist down, which renders him impotent.

They retire to his familial estate, Wragby Hall, where Clifford pursues the pleasures of the intelligenstia movement, leaving Connie to fend for herself. The gap between them grows wider as Clifford obsessess over fame, success and money with Connie feeling passionless and empty.

During their stay at Wragby Hall, she meets Oliver Mellors who goes on to be her lover in the story. Mellors comes across as a reticent man, who has a strong disdain for his rich masters. As Connie comes to know him, she realises that beneath his rough exterior and broad Derbyshire accent, there lies an intelligent, deep man with a noble heart and a sense of humor brimming with sarcasm.

Mellors, who has been unsuccessful in relationships, enters this one with uncertainty and distrust. While Connie craved for intimacy with her husband, Mellors had to separate from his wife because of her brutish sexual nature. At first what seems to be a relationship to vent her frustrations within the confines of her sexless marriage to Clifford, Connie realises that her mind and body are both being nurtured and loved in this growing relationship. With her affair, she also embarks on a journey to question beliefs and ideas she had been imbued with by the aristrocacy and intelligentsia she surrounder herself with.

Connie wonders if it can be that sex and sensuality need not be primitive and dirty as is looked upon by her peers, but rather be a channel as old and pure as nature itself to understand the mysteries of the mind. Mellors on the other hand realises that he can completely surrender his mind through the sensual act with Connie. As their relationship develops, they find themselves better disposed to undertand the interrelation of the body and the mind and see their bond maturing on tenderness,physical passion and mutual respect.

Meanwhile in the novel, a new relationship begins to develop between Clifford and Mrs. Bolton, their middle-aged nurse who looks after him. Mrs.Bolton displays motherly affection and care for him,worshipping him for his success and intellect. But at the same time she despises him on account of the class difference that towers over them. Clifford tends to be dismissive of her and shows her the least respect, while being completely dependent on her. It is a relationship that is more complex than that between Connie and Mellors, and is almost antithetical to it. While Connie and Mellors are moving away from dissatisfied relationships to a nurturing one, Clifford and Mrs.Bolton are heading towards a malicious and twisted one.

The story charts the progress of these relationships. While these relationships form the heart of the novel, the author explores the class and social conflict in the background. He depicts that through Mellors disregard for authority and Mrs.Bolton's grudging admiration of Clifford.

The novel requires one to look beyond the narration, and into the characters' minds and their words. On the surface, what is an adulterous affair, is also the rendering of one of the most beautiful relationships a man and woman can have. One that doesn't discard passion for the meeting of minds, nor does it become mindless in the pursuit of primal desires. Lawrence describes the love making without euphemisms, without pretence and without any false modesty. He uses vernacular terms and words that are still black-listed. His work can be compared to that of Goya's The Naked Maya which invited much ire and controversy. When the reader refuses to go beyond what he sees, he reduces a work of art to commonness or worse, to being obscene.

The fact that the book first published in 1928 in Italy, managed to be launched in the UK only by the 60's probably tells us that the powers that be of that time saw the book as a very dirty book indeed. Penguin Books published the full unexpurgated version in Britain and faced prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act, 1959. The trial became a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law. The verdict, delivered on 2 November 1960, was "not guilty". This resulted in a far greater degree of freedom for publishing explicit material in the United Kingdom.

The book still faces censorship in many countries, a fact which still rankles free speech supporters. Even more obscene is the fact that even when the mainstream media is profligate, authorities still gun for works of art containing explicit material that might be central to the work or act as an instrument of art.

For those who have only heard of controversies of the book, it would do good to pick this one up and find out for yourself. The book is as dirty a book as Galileo was a madman for his heresies.
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