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Women in Love (Brangwen Family #2)

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,574 Ratings  ·  731 Reviews
"An analytical study of sexual depravity" and "an epic of vice" were two of the critical expressions which greeted the publication of "Women in Love". Yet Lawrence regarded this novel as his best book and F. R. Leavis considered it Lawrence's supreme masterpiece.

The novel tells of the relationships of two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun, who live in a Midland colliery town in t
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1920)
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Cecily Yes, DO! The Rainbow is the most wonderfully poetic book - if you like to immerse yourself in floral, fiery, watery imagery.

I read them in…more
Yes, DO! The Rainbow is the most wonderfully poetic book - if you like to immerse yourself in floral, fiery, watery imagery.

I read them in chronological order, but I actually preferred The Rainbow, so WiL was a very slight disappointment in comparison.

Reading them in reverse would not be very different from a story that starts in one period, then tells the main story in flashback.

The Rainbow covers three generations of Brangwens, of which Ursula is the third, so you see her as a child and teenager at the end of the book, as well as learning about her parents and grandparents. Despite that, it's more impressionistic at times, than the more plot-driven WiL.

Enjoy. (less)
Brianna Allen I would say no. But D.H. Lawrence is an interesting author, so it may help to be familiar with his work beforehand.
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Jan 25, 2016 Cecily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I can review this only in relation to its precursor, The Rainbow (review here).

My Journey

I went straight from the flames of floral, rural passion in The Rainbow, to this often brittle discussion of the abstract, set in a more mechanical age, where animals - metaphorical and literal - are key, and death’s shadow hovers hungrily. It's beautiful, entrancing, but also opaque and frustrating.

I travelled with Ursula from her teenage years in the balmy countryside, where people act on their desires,
Paul Bryant
Mar 19, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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Violet wells
Probably it’s always going to be a mistake to reread a book you loved in your youth. I haven’t read Lawrence for a long time. I believed I had his triumphs and failures pretty clear in my mind. Sons and Lovers, the early stories, The Rainbow and Women in Love all masterpieces; everything that followed going from bad to worse. So it was a shock to discover that Women in Love probably belongs in the latter category. There are, of course, flashes of his unique genius but they are few and far betwee ...more
I want to find you, where you don’t know your own existence, the you that your common self denies utterly. But I don’t want your good looks, and I don’t want your womanly feelings, and I don’t want your thoughts nor opinions nor your ideas—they are all bagatellas to me.

If you’ve already experienced gag reflex, then you know what to partly expect from this book. Yet to say this was all this book was about, would mean I did not take the time to read all of it.

After having had friendly debates
Edward Waverley
May 23, 2008 Edward Waverley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: humans
Recommended to Edward by: David Lodge
Ever noticed how many people hate DH Lawrence? Often for opposite reasons by the way--there are those who condemn his misognyny, while others allege him to be too doting of the fair sex. Which is it? Sometimes he's damned for being too obscene, but elsewhere dismissed as overly fussy about flowers and horses. He even gets clubbed for creating self-absorbed characters, just after someone has taken a swipe at him for promoting a harmful ideal of sacrificial love. All of these folks can agree that ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is another old review, written for another website back in 2003, my memory of this book is shoddy at best.

I believe D. H. Lawrence, despite writing constantly about men and women in a risqué manner for his time, is gay. Why do I say this? Because of the three Lawrence novels I've read to date in only one does he even get close to writing an authentic relationship between a man and a woman. It's not in the two novels I would expect though. In Lady Chatterly's Lover and in Women in Love Lawre
Carolyn F.
This is not just because the narrator talks too fast and is really hard to understand, it's also because I'm just too old for this book. In my idealistic youth I would have found the ramblings of these people inspiring but now I'm bored. They go on and on about how the world is awful and I just had enough and can't finish it.
Mar 05, 2008 Liza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thinkers, feelers
It is seemingly impossible to summarize a book such as Women in Love. The book innocuously begins with sisters Gudrun and Ursula Brangwen discussing marriage. Gudrun is an artist and Ursula is a school teacher, and their middle-class status is key in their ostracism from the high-society to which their lovers Geraldthe industrialistand Rupertthe disillusioned intellectual. Although these relationships would seem to be key, the complex relationship between Rupertmodeled after author D.H. Lawrence ...more
Apr 27, 2007 betsy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate Lawrence. After reading the first 90 pages, I left this book in a youth hostel in Norway to think about how bad it was. I hope it froze.
Jul 08, 2008 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: novel
This book is like an Expressionist painting: you look at it once, and return and see something different. The writing is lush, and almost poetic at times. Lawrence uses the idea of the two sisters, Gudrun and Ursula, as his canvas to explore ideas about men and women, marriage and fidelity, and whatever else runs through his mind and on to the page.

In this high-speed, instant world, we are losing the art of leisurely contemplation. D.H. Lawrence needs to be taken up, and put down, and taken up
Jun 12, 2008 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb! D.H. Lawrence at his best. Each character is utterly individual and nuanced but cannot stand alone, being fully realized only in relationship and response to each other. Having read the work one sees these people around one every day, and of course one also sees aspects of oneself in each of them as well. A terrific novel!
Mar 17, 2013 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book I probably will ever read. I think I fell in love with Lawrence and his ideas. Am I sick?
Vi prego. Esisterà qualcosa tipo un soddisfatti o rimborsati, che ne so. Un sindacato dei lettori?
Ok, respira a fondo. Cerchiamo di calmarci e di mettere giù il libro, invece di continuare ad agitarlo pericolosamente così. Su, spostati dalla finestra. Da brava, così.

Donne innamorate è uno di quei libri che quando lo finisci di leggere, quando compi quel magnifico e agognato gesto di chiudere l'ultima pagina, fa nascere in te dell
Oct 19, 2009 Gloria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh - this book was no fun for me. There were some lovely moments and prose that I copied into my quote journal, and that's about all that kept me going. The introduction advised that "one should not begin one's study of Lawrence with Women in Love", and man, I guess that's right. I really can't stand purposefully obscure language, or a supposedly realist novel that's full of dialogue and emotional reactions that make no sense and bear no resemblance to how people actually talk or think. Maybe I ...more
Chiara Pagliochini
« Pah – l’amour. Lo detesto. L’amour, l’amore, die Liebe – lo detesto in ogni lingua. Donne e amore, non c’è tedio più grande » esclamò. Lei se ne sentì un po’ offesa. E tuttavia era la sua stessa, elementare sensazione. Uomini e amore, non c’era tedio più grande.

Non c’è cosa più irritante, io credo, che sentirsi troppo stupidi per capire un romanzo. Non c’è cosa più irritante che sentire che la distanza che ti separa dallo scrittore, in termini di complessità ideologica, di esperienze di vita e
Aug 31, 2009 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry, I just don't 'get' DH Lawrence. I think he is the most over-rated novelist I've ever read. And I have tried. I'm sure he broke the boundaries of what was permitted to be discussed in the novel BUT, besides the chapter involving the boating trip and resulting accident, nothing impressed me or remains with me from the book other than intense irritation with all of the characters. The women are unrealistic and the men, arrogant and dull. I wanted to slap the lot of them and tell them to ...more
Georgia Smith
Dec 08, 2014 Georgia Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I found the book dreamy. I'm a sucker for beautiful language and Lawrence is a master at it; his unexpected vocabulary kept me hooked right throughout. The first half I adored, but the second half just seemed a bit of a drag - was it really necessary to have all those meaningless conversations? Likewise the philosophy in the first half was thought-provoking and lovely, but by the second half it had slipped to something of a showing-off; Lawrence seemed to be questioning everything thoughtlessly ...more
Jan 05, 2013 woodshadows rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was close to giving this a five, but with the profusion of loins, shanks and limbs scattered around the pretty prose which at times read like straight up harlequin romance i had to pull back the final star. also, despite my having more in agreement with some of the thoughts/ideas expressed in this novel, it shared the flaw of that work which i share far less intellectual common ground with - atlas shrugged. in both works characters can at times feel like lifeless mouthpieces for the authors ph ...more
Greg Z
May 15, 2016 Greg Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I read this years ago, and right after I had seen the film with Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, and Glenda Jackson. That was an interesting experience, as I thought the film was actually better (and far steamier!) than the book. (I may have thought differently if I'd read the book first.) But I thought the screenwriters/film told the story just fine in only 2 hours. I liked the book, but it just felt like a slow read after seeing the movie. I know perhaps I'm not being fair, but that's just the way it ...more
Vit Babenco
Nov 12, 2014 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I detest what I am, outwardly. I loathe myself as a human being. Humanity is a huge aggregate lie, and a huge lie is less than a small truth. Humanity is less, far less than the individual, because the individual may sometimes be capable of truth, and humanity is a tree of lies.”
Novels by D.H. Lawrence possess the absolutely unique psychological climate and Women in Love is definitely his best one.
Women in Love and Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley constitute an exhaustive portrayal of the e
Mar 21, 2010 Cydney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I'm proud of myself that I finished it. It wasn't horrible but I did push myself through it. I kept reminding myself that this classic novel is "magnificient" and that (the characters) "clash in thought, passion and belief, and the reader is gripped by deeply held convictions about love and modern society" . . or so they say. There are some passages written so beautifully, and definitely some thoughts on our existence that you can't help but think about; but it was the characters that I fo ...more
Zoe Tuck
Dec 10, 2012 Zoe Tuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 20th-c
Spurred by my current Anaïs Nin obsession, I picked up Women in Love (Nin did a critical study of D.H. Lawrence early in her career). Burned through a third of it on a long plan ride from New Orleans to Oakland. I am in pursuit of a lineage and a vindication (permission?) for doing work that deals with emotions, relationships - that which is written "from the blood", as Lawrence would say.

It has also been a long while since I have read a novel from what might glibly be called the age of novels
Richard Lodge
Sep 18, 2012 Richard Lodge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is Lawrence's most complete statement. He argues with himself all through it: struggling to find a way to define what he wants to know about the individual and others. The characters are intense, fierce, intelligent, combative. They clash; they pound into each other. Lawrence explores ideas through the fist-tight dialogue and the bold imagery. And he quests for answers in his insistent narrative too. Ursula remains the real centre of the book, but Birkin, Gudrun and Gerald all get close-up fo ...more
Aug 30, 2009 Deanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: period-classic
First of all, this book should be called something more like "I Hate You With the White Hot Intensity of a Thousand Suns" instead of it's actual title. If people are really walking around with the thoughts that Lawrence writes of in this novel, I AM PERSONALLY TERRIFIED! With that being said, the novel was a great read lol. My husband commented at one point, "I've never seen you so caught up in a book." I really couldn't put it down. I will also add that though the title would seem to indicate t ...more
Sep 03, 2008 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about the relationships between two sisters and their, how shall we say, lovers.

It's written so that each chapter has dominant symbol (a rabbit, a scared horse, a wrestiling match), and I thought the symbols he chose were compelling (picture a man forcing a terrified horse to stand in place, only feet away from the first train it's ever seen as the train roars by). I especially liked the end, where they all go on a a vacation retreat in some remote and snowy mountains in northern
So, I loved this book through about the first half. I was ready to call it one of my favorite books, but then the characters changed into people that I could no longer stand to hear about. I still have to say that the book was really well-written with amazingly developed characters. Lawrence creates a profound connection between the readers and the characters because he allows you into the innermost thoughts of the characters. It is also an excellent portrayal of the ideas running through Europe ...more
Jun 07, 2008 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play-film
The book is a slog to get through, the film version with Alan Bates is much better.
Aug 03, 2012 Róisín rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaitlyn Barrett
Egotistical and full of himself. Insufferably narcissistic. Full of talk to hear himself talk, which they now call a “modern” style.

I preferred Lady Chatterly's Lover but perhaps I like the subject matter better. I think DH wants to feed sex into everything and doesn’t care about love. He thinks love’s an overworn subject, so much so that he wanted to write this book about it and give it the last word and then bury it. But it’s a subject too big for him, a fact that probably kept him up at nigh
Tyler Steele
Jun 14, 2010 Tyler Steele rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap what a miserable book. If your Emo or wannabe Emo this is the book for you. You hear people complain that Tolkien will write about a tree for 3 pages, well in this book the author will describe the same thought for 3 pages and then goes absolutely no where with it! My wife explained it best. There is no one in this book to root for. You just end up wishing all the characters would hold hands and jump off a bridge.

the author is obviously trying to make you think about sacrifice and love
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 2 18 Aug 03, 2014 12:15AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Multiple issues with Women in Love 3 38 Mar 11, 2014 01:52AM  
Is it more about the problems of Men in Love or Women in Love? 1 27 Mar 06, 2013 05:26PM  
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David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues rel ...more
More about D.H. Lawrence...

Other Books in the Series

Brangwen Family (2 books)
  • The Rainbow

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“But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.” 235 likes
“I should feel the air move against me, and feel the things I touched, instead of having only to look at them. I'm sure life is all wrong because it has become much too visual - we can neither hear nor feel nor understand, we can only see. I'm sure that is entirely wrong.” 213 likes
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