In a bid to keep myself out of man trouble and curb my lack of reading, a few months back I decided to raid my local bookstore for some 20th century literature. With D.H Lawrence on my “classic authors to read” list (but not quite sure why) I left unawares with possibly his most infamous novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
As I walked naively out of the bookstore without any idea of the books premise, I quickly discovered at page 28 why people in the 1920’s sought to ban it (FYI my fellow Gen Y: this book was banned in England and the US after its initial publication in 1928 until the 1960’s!).
To be honest, I had a moment on the train commuting to work where a woman sitting opposite gave me an odd look after spotting the title of the book...
What had I got myself into?
The novel tells the story of Constance Chatterley a woman modern beyond her age married to Clifford - who returns from war paralysed from the waist down. Lady Chatterley is in a way crippled herself from a lack of intimacy. Trapped in Wragby, caged in a marriage lacking affection, alongside any characters around her until she meets the solitary estate’s gamekeeper, Mellors. She is possessed of a vitality and youth that we don’t really get to see until she sheds her unhappiness in the arms of a physical relationship with Mellors.
This made me question the fact, are we all a little like this when we take a lover?
Does something awake inside to regenerate something we thought we had left behind? Are we more inclined to shed our social trappings for pure fulfillment?
I love the fact that Lawrence writes about physical intimacy. I think its something that resonates with our very technologically detached culture driven by instant gratification.
So to sum up: whilst at the onset this book had a lot against it in my misconstrued (or lack there of) expectations, I’m very glad I read this novel. It questions a lot of our own social trappings and maybe we all need to find our own ‘Mellors’ to remind us of how regenerated we can be when we shed societies expectations of us.