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Women in Love: Cambridge Lawrence Edition (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) Paperback – September 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The published editions of Women in Love , probably Lawrence's greatest novel, have always been remarkably corrupt due to a lengthy, complex process of revision and transcription, a threatened libel suit, and numerous unauthorized bowdlerizations. The editors of this new Cambridge Edition have labored scrupulously to produce an authoritative text. What emerges, if not dramatically different, is fresher and more immediate. The introduction provides a valuable history of the novel's composition, revision, publication, and reception, and though the elaborate textual apparatus is strictly for advanced students of bibliography, the notes are splendid. Lawrence's 1919 Foreword and two early discarded chapters are also included. The recovery of a modern classic. Keith Cushman, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"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 --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140188169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140188165
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,343,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I don't know if these moments make the entire book worth reading, however.
LZ-1
D.H. Lawrence's prose in this major novel is lyrical, poetic and detailed in its description of moods, nature and the emotions inherent to love.
C. M Mills
The book deals with the ordinary love, the one that normal human beings have the chance to face.
A. T. A. Oliveira

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Written in 1920 and often regarded as D. H. Lawrence's greatest novel, Women in Love is the complex story of two women and two men who scrutinize their lives and personal needs in an effort to discover something that makes the future worth living. The personal and social traumas of post-World War I, combined with the rise of industry and urbanization, have affected all four main characters, often at cross purposes as they explore love and its role in their lives. Intensely introspective and self-conscious, each character shares his/her thoughts with the reader, allowing the reader to participate in the inner conflicts and crises that each faces.

Ursula Brangwen, a teacher in a mining town in the Midlands, is attracted to Rupert Birkin, a school supervisor; her sister Gudrun, an artist whose sculptures have drawn some attention in London, is drawn to Gerald Crich, whose father is a mine owner. As the two women earn their living and consider the issue of marriage, which they regard as an impediment to their independence, the men deal with issues of sexuality and power, and whether the love of a woman is enough. Both men have homosexual urges which compete with their feelings for women.

Gerald is the most conflicted of the four. Taking over the mines upon the death of his father, he is fiercely committed to making them successful, even if that means hardening his heart toward his workers. He feels no sense of responsibility toward them, dedicating his efforts toward success and power, an attitude he conveys also toward Gudrun, who finds him self-centered but physically attractive.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By C. Fletcher on January 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I think Women in Love must be just about the most emotionally intense book I've ever read. D.H. Lawrence conjures his four main characters in what feels like the heat of a closed-room kiln. The writing is beautiful and amazingly perceptive, but is at times stultifyingly over-analytical.
Yet, despite the book's combined length, density and decided lack of plot, Women in Love is surprisingly readable. What makes this book so good is the honesty with which Lawrence imbues his two title characters, Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, and their two chosen lovers, Birkin and Gerald. It can be frustrating to read page after page of the mental thrashings of an individual mind's search for truth and authenticity in life and in love, but it can also be a kind of revelation.
These characters think differently about the world around them than I do, and we each think differently about the world than you who are reading this do. And yet we are all basically the same on a certain transcendent level. We are all human and we all long for an authentic connection with the world around us. We are different and we are the same. That's why living in this world isn't always easy, and that's why it's always worthwhile. This book beautifully and even entertainingly captures those basic struggles for human connection and if for that reason alone, it's well worth reading. Highly recommended.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John Martin on November 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Scottish novelist Catherine Carswell stated that Women In Love is, "easy to read, but hard to understand." Certainly it is difficult to understand Lawrence, but the Amazon review by Robert Moore of another of his books (The Rainbow) does a good job of describing the essence of Lawrence's literary style. Moore states that there are four ways in which The Rainbow and Women in Love, which is really a sequel, are something new in literature. The first is the general absence of plot. In Lawrence people meet and interact but there is not much action or story development. Secondly, Lawrence instead focuses on character development and on a collection of characters rather than a single one. Thirdly, the characters are psychologically complex, illogical and filled with contrary emotions. Finally, Lawrence's novels are sensual, not just as some have concluded sexually erotic. Moore likes this style and gives the book 5 stars. Another reviewer, Glen Engel-Cox says something similar only with a negative attitude: "I simply could not put up with the seemingly endless vacillations of the characters, the souped-up descriptions of all that they thought, and the plodding story line." Engel-Cox gave it only 1 star. Thus in reading Lawrence one should be aware that one is not getting a great story, but insights into the complexities of human emotions.

It is also difficult to understand Lawrence without knowing something about his life and the times he lived in. He lived and wrote at the time of the First World War when Europe, after a period of optimism, scientific development and relative peace was plunged into a war made all the more horrible by the very technology that had fostered progress. Lawrence was greatly affected by this transformation.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Diane Schirf on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
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.
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