Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover


In the bleak aftermath of World War I, Constance, Lady Chatterley, is a young woman trapped in an unfulfilling marriage to an aristocrat whose war wounds have left him paralysed. With her husband's encouragement, she enters into a liaison with Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper on their country estate in Nottinghamshire. As this illicit relationship grows into tenderness, mutual respect and sensual passion, Constance discovers that true fulfilment requires a real connection of both mind and body. Lady Chatterley's Lover shocked its original audience with its vindication of adulterous love across the class divide as well as its explicit descriptions of sex. It retains its power today as a hymn to erotic love and as an impassioned treatise on 'tender-hearted fucking' as a means to salvation from the horrors of war and the sterility of modern life. It is all the more poignant that Lawrence wrote this book - three times over - while he was dying from tuberculosis.
The modern world was not interested in its salvation. Lawrence had Lady Chatterley privately printed in Italy in 1928, but strict obscenity laws in the UK rendered it unpublishable there for more than thirty years.


  • A brave and important book, passionate and wildly ambitious
    Independent on Sunday

About the author

D H Lawrence

D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence (1885-1930), novelist, poet and travel writer, was born in Nottinghamshire, the son of a miner. He won a scholarship to study at Nottingham High School and later attended University College, Nottingham. He then worked as a schoolteacher, moving to London in 1908. His first novel, The White Peacock, was published in 1910; Sons and Lovers, the first of his masterpieces, inspired by his own youth and relationship with his mother, followed in 1913. By this time he had eloped to the continent with Frieda Weekley (née Von Richthofen), a German aristocrat, with whom for 18 years he enjoyed a famously tempestuous partnership. They lived in Germany and later Italy, returning to Britain just before the outbreak of World War I, when, Frieda having obtained a divorce, they were able to marry. The difficult war years were spent in Cornwall where the locals suspected them of spying. Two further masterpieces, The Rainbow (1915) and Women in Love (1920) were published and, for a period, banned. Both featured strong female protagonists, and dealt frankly with sexual relationships. Lawrence and Frieda lived abroad again in 1920s, travelling not only in Europe, but Australia, Ceylon, the United States and Mexico. By 1928 they had settled in Italy, near Florence where Lady Chatterley's Lover was finished and privately printed. Lawrence's TB had been diagnosed while he was in Mexico. When it became clear that he was dying Frieda took him to Germany and France in search of a cure. He died at Vence, in the south of France, in 1930.
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