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Women in Love [Paperback]

D.H. Lawrence
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1996 0553214543 978-0553214543 Reissue
Perhaps no other of the world’s great writers lived and wrote with the passionate intensity of D. H. Lawrence. And perhaps no other of his books so explores the mysteries between men and women–both sensual and intellectual–as Women in Love. Written in the years before and during World War I in a heat of great energy, and criticized for its exploration of human sexuality, the book is filled with symbolism and poetry–and is compulsively readable.

It opens with sisters Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen, characters who also appeared in The Rainbow, discussing marriage, then walking through a haunting landscape ruined by coal mines, smoking factories, and sooty dwellings. Soon Gudrun will choose Gerald, the icily handsome mining industrialist, as her lover; Ursula will become involved with Birkin, a school inspector–and an erotic interweaving of souls and bodies begins. One couple will find love, the other death, in Lawrence’s lush, powerfully crafted fifth novel, one of his masterpieces and the work that may best convey his beliefs about sex, love, and humankind’s ongoing struggle between the forces of destruction and life.

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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.


"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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First Sentence
Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the window-bay of their father's house in Beldover, working and talking. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Search for Love Aug. 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an amazing book. I don't think that anyone has ever been so skilled in writing a sentence before than D.H. Lawrence. He writes such poetic prose that he can make a walk in the park the most entertaining scene in a book. It is just beautiful and it is something that is zll too rare in modern lierature. There is one scene when he describes a man and a women walking beside a pond at night and the lady is pulling the petals off of a white flower and throwing them onto the pond. As they float away the picture that Lawence paints in the readers mind is poingant and very descriptively beautiful. The characters are described down to their inner most thoughts and we see them and get to know them better than they know themselves. The y are conflicted, insecure, and hopeful of finding something worth while. Lawrence pulls out the problems that society places on love, mixed with the conflicting human spirit with refreshing honesty. At times the characters drove me crazy as they couldn't make up their minds, they were so capricious. But then people are like that in life, so it fit in well with the main message of the story: searching for the offered love that appeases our trepidations about relationships. I will never view a relationship the same after reading this book as it was so insightful on what we need. More people should read D.H. Lawrence's works as they are lessons to help us define ourselves in a deaper perspective and in a more awake fashion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must To Read... July 8 2004
Well, the feminists hate it, the Christians apparently hate it (check out Irving Nutt's uproarious "review" below)...is there any other way to convey that Lawrence still has the power to provoke?
This is an absolute must for anyone serious about literature....Lawrence tries to stuff the whole dang world into a book. Everything he is trying to achieve here is breathtaking. The characters are all rather deplorable, but there is such psychological insight and empathy towards even the foulest of them, that the reader feels for all these fools. No two readers are going to look at it the same way....Is Crich a pitiable martyr or a ruthless phallocrat? Is Gudrun Lawrence's swat at women in general, or a pre-cursor to the cold, Thatcher-style "feminism". Is it about women in love...or is the romance strictly between the men? This ambiguity makes "Women In Love" absolutely timeless...
... a poetic, violent, and remarkably unsentimental masterpiece.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Danielle Steele, it ain't June 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Women in Love" is a book about individual philosophies, personalities, desires, and the conscious or subconscious need for control in relationships. It involves four characters--Gerald, the wealthy and powerful coal industry magnate; Birkin, the intellectual, nomadic bohemian; Ursula, a school-teacher and sister to Gundrun; and Gundrun, the beautiful, emancipated "modern lady" who is a school teacher and artist.
The book follows the course of the relationships between Gerald & Gundrun and Birkin & Ursula from the time when they first eye each other until the point where the relationship either transcends to something larger or comes to an end. There is also made reference to the desire of a relationship between Gerald & Birken spiritually and possibly sexually.
This book does not adhere to a strict timeline or follow a distinct plot. Certain chapters consist of inner musings of a character or dialogue between a few people to give you hints of their personalities. There are times when a series of paragraphs may lead you to believe that the author is simply musing over his own ideas and that the character thinking them is not the point. It's almost as if this book were a venue for Lawrence to channel some of his thoughts to an audience by way of a creation of characters that may or may not be extremely significant. Reader be forewarned: large portions of this book are personal philosphy, poetic and mystical.
I liked this book because I was able to see it for, I think, what it was meant to be. It wasn't intended to be a boy meets girl and read on to see what happens. It wasn't meant to make you fall in love, cry out of pity, or delight in the human spirit. The plot is nonessential.
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4.0 out of 5 stars mino vs. mino, England C13, 1915 March 18 2004
Facts: Women in Love is a story about Ursual and Gudrun Brangwen. The history of the Brangwen family may be referenced by reading "The Rainbow" as a foundational text. Likewise, "Sons and Lovers" as a foundational text will explain the life of a coal mining family. Ursula has a love relationship with Rupert Birkin, a school administrator. They eventually marry. But in this relationship, Birkin wants more than love can offer - "something other" including a love for a man. Gudrun has a relationship with Gerald Crich, a wealthy and good looking man. Although, they have an affair, the relationship fails because it was based upon pity. Gudrun was not ready for a life as a wife and mother to a coal mining family even if he was the manager. Gudrun remains unloved and single with her future course in question.
Issue: Is "love" immutable, absolute, and eternal? NO
Held: In Chapter 13, there was a contest between a male and female mino cats. The female was wild, but submitted to the dominance of the male cat. This metaphor for male and female relationships was lacking. Both Ursula and Gudrun were the stronger in both relationships. Birkin was a flawed idealist. Gerald was looking for a mother. One can be happy that Ursula has managed to love a man, and we can only hope that perhaps she will explore her further potentiality as a mother perhaps. Gudrun has moved on with the minimal knowledge of what not to look for in a relationship with a man. She is a strong character which I prefer to assume will do very nicely in the future in love and all things.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Grace and Ambivelance
Women in Love, as the title would suppose, should be about women in love. Herein lies the complexity of Lawrence: the novel is about men in love, who only through there female... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by Jimmy Chen
1.0 out of 5 stars Very offensive
I had just started the "humanities" requirement for my degree program and was assigned this book to read for a literature course. Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2003 by Irving Knutt
5.0 out of 5 stars So this is love
A sequel to "The Rainbow," "Women in Love" seems to be a more personal novel for its author, as D.H. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2002 by A.J.
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Lawrence
Compared to "The Rainbow", of which "Women in Love" is the sequel, I found this novel really heavy-going. Read more
Published on May 30 2002 by MR G. Rodgers
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best I 've ever read
First of all, I have to own you up that reading Women in Love was one of the best experiences on books that I ever had. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2001 by A. T. A. Oliveira
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of time.
This book has no likeable characters, and because of this, no one really cares about the characters' feelings and actions. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a soap opera....
OK, the title for this review may be a little harsh, but the image is hard to shake from my mind. Imagine the close-ups used in a soap opera to show you the intense anguish and... Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2001 by Jeffrey Leeper
4.0 out of 5 stars An endless cycle of humanity encapsulated
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence is a sequel, but knowledge of The Rainbow is not necessary to appreciate the second novel. Read more
Published on March 29 2001 by Diane Schirf
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Intense
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2001 by C. Fletcher
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