Explicit descriptions of sex and "unprintable" words meant that D. H. Lawrence’s notorious novel could only be printed in Florence when it was published in 1928. Almost entitled Tenderness by the author, it tells the story of the physical relationship between the aristocratic protagonist Constance Chatterley and gamekeeper Oliver Mellors - which occurs right under the nose of her wheelchair-bound husband, Clifford.
In exploring the class system of the early 20th century, the novel also touches upon the declining coal-mining industry, its effect on the workers, and the politics which surrounded it. Yet possibly the most important theme in this intimate and moving novel is the individual’s need for physical as well as intellectual satisfaction in order to feel a sense of completeness.
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Very good; not for the easily offended
Lady Chatterley's Lover
This is the third of the three versions of Lady C.. written by Lawrence and it is my least favorite. It was written at the end of his life while he was dying of tuberculosis and sometimes it does seem feverish. It as if he took all of his concerns and put them into the mouth of Mellors who becomes his self-righteous mouthpiece. They seem as dated now as does the plight of coal minors in the English Midlands. The other versions are more universal.
That said, you can't go wrong with Lawrence. It is best to read all or most of Lawrence to appreciate the spirit of his message. I first read Lady C. 50 years ago and I knew then, in my early 20's, that it was an important and beautiful work and now, in my 70's, iI know better why that is so. It may take a lifetime to see the obvious.