Monday, July 10, 2006

Book Review: Lady Chatterley's Lover

It was fascinating to read about the thought process a woman who is married and has an affair has when deciding whether to leave her husband. The problem is that it was written by a man, so its hard to determine how accurate that thought process was. It was somewhat autobiographical, so if (in reality) D.H. Lawrence and his wife split on better terms than the characters in the book its possible that she was able to give him some insight.


The plot is basically about a man who was paralyzed from the waist down in war and can no longer have sex with his wife, while relying on her to become his nurse to a point. She then has an affair with their estates gamekeeper and becomes pregnant and leaves her husband. This actually happened to D.H. Lawrence.

Anyhow, the woman in the book had had sexual relationships prior to getting married, and enjoyed them, but not to the extent she had with the gamekeeper. After not having sex with her husband (and they were only married for about a month before his injury) and then having this sort of sexual awakening, she begins to hate her life. As the couple were of a high class in England (he a Lord, she a Lady), the book provides an excellent glimpse of class structure and how that would affect her if she left her husband.

The book was ruled pornographic when it was published and was banned. I can see why this would raise some eyebrows during the early 1900s. It did have some graphic depictions of sex and used language such as *gasp* penis and cunt. While the scenes were somewhat erotic at times, the fact that the gamekeeper, who was educated and spoke English well, would revert to his class broad vernacular language during the sexual encounters was quite a turnoff (not to Lady Chatterley, I assure you). But the descriptive scenes were necessary to make one understand the conflicts involved.

I enjoyed reading this book, for the most part- I am not sure if I feel like it was not a waste of time though. I hope that discussing it in one of the 3 B & N book groups Im in will provide some insight. I do tend to find books written about English class and society to be brain candy because of the language used; it puts me into another time.

This book did not make the Modern Libraries Best 100 for the boards or readers picks.

Im such a geek. Im so excited that my book groups are finally starting!!!

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