Book Notes: "The First Lady Chatterley" by D.H. Lawrence

The First Lady ChatterleyThe First Lady Chatterley by D.H. Lawrence

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been reading a good deal of non-fiction and this was the novel I needed. This is only the second of D.H. Lawrence's works I have read and the first of his novels. This first version of the book that made an appearance in Mad Men, Lady Chatterley's Lover, appears not to be as famous as the latter third edition. This first edition is unusual in that it is not organised into parts or chapters and I found myself unable to put it down because it was good but also because there are no natural places to stop reading! Like most stories of passion, post-modern materialism has killed off any of the once 'shocking' parts of the story. Yet as Downton Abbey reveals the end of the servant-era and the lords and my-ladys in big houses, Lawrence here weaves a love story and a class commentary of rising socialism amid the collieries of the Midlands. It would seem that the references to great philosophers (including once to Hegel) are buried beneath the notoriety of this particular story. I found it hard to put this book down and now I must read the more famous version to fill in the many pages that were skipped in this first draft. It is certainly not difficult to see why Lawrence is held in such regard.

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