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Women in Love

(Brangwen Family series #2)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  27,619 ratings  ·  974 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
Paperback, thrift, 416 pages
Published January 15th 2003 by Dover Publications (first published 1920)
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Laura Actually, reading Women in Love first would be the way original audiences got the story because The Rainbow was banned. Lawrence couldn't find a…moreActually, reading Women in Love first would be the way original audiences got the story because The Rainbow was banned. Lawrence couldn't find a publisher for Women in Love until 1920, and even then he could only publish it in the US. (British publishers wouldn't touch it after The Rainbow debacle.) In addition, the two books aren't really sequels in the way we think of sequels today. They're more like two stories that have some of the same characters. So, I say go for it! (less)
C. J. When reading Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence I always kept a dictionary by my side because I did not want to miss out on any of the subtle meanings of…moreWhen reading Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence I always kept a dictionary by my side because I did not want to miss out on any of the subtle meanings of the text just because I was not familiar with some of the vocabulary and phrases. I think it matters to understand the whole of the text to truly appreciate what the author intended.(less)

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3.66  · 
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Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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Dec 31, 2015 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,
Violet wells
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Edward Waverley
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
David Schaafsma
“But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”

Women in Love (1920) is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence, a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), following the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Gerald will inherit a colliery, and since coal-mining takes a hit in The Rainbow as an emblem of industrialization’
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The best book I probably will ever read. I think I fell in love with Lawrence and his ideas. Am I sick?
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No Pot O' Gold Past the End of The Rainbow

This was a letdown from The Rainbow (1915), which stirred and sizzled, was better written and seemed more momentous. In it, Ursula Brangwen came of age and defied the conventions of the unsophisticated environs in which she was raised, so she could selfishly search for satisfaction of the senses in a university town.

With Women in Love (1921), D.H. Lawrence continues his look at marriage and the relationships between men and women. Ursula is now a teacher
Jun 19, 2007 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.
Jul 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 26, 2008 rated it liked it
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
James Hartley
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Its funny that Lawrence is now seen as an old-fashioned classic author: how funny itd be to see his face if he knew. Hes everything he didnt want to be and isnt that just wonderful?

Im firmly in the Id-read-Lawrences-shopping-list camp. Nobody - nobody - has written in English like he does when hes on form. He had a gift for the language, for words, rhythm, meaning - and a fearlessless about writing that is awesome in its intensity and self-belief.

He was all contradiction; exasperating but fasci
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
"We are now in a period of crisis. Every man who is acutely alive is acutely wrestling with his own soul"
Lawrence's belief was that the essence of art is, after all,its ability to convey the emotions of one man to his fellows- a form of sympathy , a form of religious experience.

"-Why is it art?
-It conveys a complete truth, it contains the whole truth of that state, whatever you feel about it
-But you can't call it high art!
-High! There are centuries and hundreds of centuries of development in a
Paul Christensen
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
The central claim of this book is that love between man and womb-an,
While spiritually profound, is yet not enough for a true man;

He must also have deep friendship with another man, like a flame
- Not in a homosexual way, as some braindead reviewers have claimed,

Reading their 2000s prejudices into the work of a proto-fascist
Who felt that masculine/feminine archetypes should be more stubborn and fractious,

That they should be of value in themselves, not just as the means to a union,
And that only by
Aug 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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!
Oct 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Elena Holmgren
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
If there is anything like a truth to sexual relations, I'd say that Lawrence's account here comes pretty close to capturing at least one fold of the central knot of it. He weaves his narrative around four centers of consciousness, two male, and two female, in an effort to capture the essential meaning of their relations to themselves, to one another, and to the nothingness from which their consciousness springs, from moment to moment. He movingly captures the shimmering movement of their conscio ...more
Richard Lodge
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Tyler Steele
Jun 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Lou Last
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: golden, novel
Over the top with urgency and metaphysical wrestling. Language that is physical and morbid, often vulgar. Wonderful stuff - I found it undeniable this time around.
Mikey B.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, abandoned
After 170 pages I had to give up. I couldn’t relate to these upper class snobs who just whined endlessly about how dreadful life is. “Go get a job” I say – “change some diapers”, “cook a dinner”, “Have a glass of wine”. Do something! It’s repetitive with misanthropic conversations like:

Page 140 (my book)

There was silence, wherein she wanted to cry. She reached for another bit of chocolate paper, and began to fold another boat.
“And why is it,” she asked at length, ‘that there is no flowering, no
Leni Iversen
I disliked almost every page of this book. I don't understand how it can be on both the Boxall 1001 and the Guardian 1000 lists. That combination is usually a winner for me. If I don't personally enjoy the book, I can at least see the merit. Not so here. It was simultaneously dull and preposterous. All the characters argued like they were first year know-it-all university students. All the characters were constantly overwhelmed by feelings of fear and hatred because they felt like some other cha ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Vit Babenco
Oct 26, 2014 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
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Oct 04, 2008 rated it liked it
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
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 22 Feb 02, 2019 07:59AM  
Reading 1001: Women In Love 1 10 Jan 19, 2019 05:10AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Brangwen Family series 4 15 Nov 09, 2018 08:38AM  
Is it more about the problems of Men in Love or Women in Love? 2 41 Oct 08, 2016 12:44AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 2 20 Aug 03, 2014 12:15AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Multiple issues with Women in Love 3 45 Mar 11, 2014 01:52AM  

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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

Other books in the series

Brangwen Family series (2 books)
  • The Rainbow (Brangwen Family, #1)
“But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.” 307 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.” 240 likes
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