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By: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence The Rainbow

Set against the backdrop of a rapidly industrializing England, the bewildering shift in social structure, the fading away of traditions and the advent of new ways of life, The Rainbow by DH Lawrence depicts how one family's story becomes the story of a society. Originally planned as a novel titled The Sisters, Lawrence finally split the theme into two separate novels after many revisions and rewrites. The Rainbow is the first novel in the Brangwen family saga. Tom Brangwen is a small time farmer in rural Nottinghamshire...

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence Women in Love

If you have read DH Lawrence's The Rainbow, you'd certainly want to read the sequel, Women in Love. Published in 1920, the two books were originally meant to be a single work, spanning several generations of the Brangwen family, especially the women. However, a complicated publishing history, delays and editorial revisions, followed by the hostile reception and controversies that faced The Rainbow led to a gap of five years between the two books. Yet, by 21st century standards, Women in Love seems almost tame, and modern-day readers may well be bewildered by the amount of criticism it generated among the custodians of morals in an earlier age...

Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence Sons and Lovers

This intimate portrait of a coal-miner’s family fastens on each member in turn: Walter Morel, the collier; Gertrude, his wife; and the children: William, Annie, Arthur, and Paul. When Mrs. Morel begins to be estranged from her husband because of his poor financial sense and his drinking habits, she comes to inhabit the lives of her children – most particularly, her sons. She is determined that they will grow to be something more than men that come home blackened with coal dust every day and roaring with drink every night...

The Trespasser by D. H. Lawrence The Trespasser

Brief Encounter meets Tristan und Isolde – on the Isle of Wight, under a vast sky florid with stars. The consequence is tragic indeed for one of the parties, Siegmund, when he sacrifices family life for a few days’ transcendent rapture. His lover, the self-contained Helena, is strong enough to bear a return to the scruffy suburbs. Redemption of a kind is granted to the deserted wife, Beatrice. But between these robust Lawrentian women Siegmund is cancelled out. His love-death is no cosmic swoon but a sordid exit in an unkempt box-room.In this very British romance, there is no earthly escape from outworn attachments and life’s deadening routine…

The Prussian Officer and Other Stories by D. H. Lawrence The Prussian Officer and Other Stories

The collection of short stories – of which The Prussian Officer is one – was Lawrence’s first such book. A German officer and his orderly are the focus of the piece and, while socially the superior of his orderly, the officer demonstrates his is the distinctly baser character. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

Book cover Fantasia of the Unconscious
Book cover Aaron's Rod

Flutist Aaron Sisson is caught up in the aftermath of WWI. A lost soul, he attempts to find himself in the comfort of bar-room talk and alcohol and a woman. Moving on, he spends time with a mining executive's relatives. But he finds the family a stuffy middle-class lot, bored with each other and themselves. He leaves his wife and children and strikes out for the open road. During a playing engagement at an opera performance, he reunites with the mining executive's family. Talk is of love and war, none of it very satisfying to anyone...

Book cover Lost Girl

"There is no mistake about it, Alvina was a lost girl. She was cut off from everything she belonged to." In this most under-valued of his novels, Lawrence once again presents us with a young woman hemmed in by her middle-class upbringing and (like Ursula Brangwen in The Rainbow) longing for escape. Alvina Houghton's plight, however, is given a rather comic and even picaresque treatment. Losing first her mother, a perpetual invalid, and later her cross-dressing father, a woefully ineffectual small-scale entrepreneur, Alvina feels doomed to merge with the tribe of eternal spinsters who surround her in the dreary mining community of Woodhouse...

Book cover The Prussian Officer
Ballad of Another Ophelia by D. H. Lawrence Ballad of Another Ophelia

LibriVox volunteers bring you 16 recordings of the haunting Ballad of Another Ophelia by D. H. Lawrence. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for March 24, 2013.

Book cover England, My England
Book cover Amores Poems
Sea and Sardinia by D. H. Lawrence Sea and Sardinia
Book cover Twilight in Italy
Book cover Tortoises
Book cover Look! We Have Come Through!
Book cover New Poems
Book cover Touch and Go
Book cover Bay A Book of Poems
Book cover Wintry Peacock
Book cover White Peacock

Lawrence’s first novel is set in Nethermere (his name for the real-life Eastwood in Nottinghamshire). The plot is narrated by Cyril Beardsall and focuses in particular on the relationship of his sister Lettie with two admirers, the more handsome and down to earth George and the more effete gentleman Leslie. She eventually marries Leslie although she is sexually attracted to George. George marries the conventional Meg and both marriages end in unhappiness. The countryside of the English midlands is beautifully evoked and there is powerful description also of the impact of industrialisation on both town and country.

Book cover Sons and Lovers (Version 2)

Lawrence summarised the plot of Sons and Lovers in a letter to Edward Garnett in 1912: “It follows this idea: a woman of character and refinement goes into the lower class, and has no satisfaction in her own life. She has had a passion for her husband, so her children are born of passion, and have heaps of vitality. But as her sons grow up she selects them as lovers — first the eldest, then the second. These sons are urged into life by their reciprocal love of their mother — urged on and on...

Book cover Rainbow (Version 2)

Briefly appearing in 1915, then banned and taken out of circulation for its adult treatment of sexuality, Lawrence's visionary novel The Rainbow attempts to situate the lives of three generations of the Brangwen family within the continuous social change marking the Victorian transformation of Britain. Farmer Tom and his Polish wife Lydia, whose peaceful rural existence re-enacts the potent myths of Genesis; artisan Will and the matriarch Anna, who go to live among the industrial and mining communities...


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