Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D H Lawrence.
I made a little promise to myself that I would try and read more “classics” this year, and although I am struggling away with Les Miserables, I thought I’d give this a go as well considering that you can read it for free over at Goodreads.
Man. I don’t even know where to start, so let’s just get a blurb in while I gather my thoughts together.
“Constance Chatterley feels trapped in her sexless marriage to the invalid Sir Clifford. Unable to fulfil his wife emotionally or physically, Clifford encourages her to have a liaison with a man of their own class. But Connie is attracted instead to Mellors, her husband’s gamekeeper, with whom she embarks on a passionate affair that brings new life to her stifled existence. Can she find true equality with Mellors, despite the vast gulf between their positions in society? One of the most controversial novels in English literature, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is an erotically charged and psychologically powerful depiction of adult relationships.”
Nope. I still don’t know where to start.
So, back when the whole Fifty Shades thing kicked off, a friend of mine told me that people who were shocked at Ana and Christian’s story had clearly never read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, so it was with a sense of trepidation that I chose this, half expecting all my goodreads friends to start calling me out as some kind of pervert or something, I was expecting people to look at me like this
when I told them what I was reading (they didn’t).
And, I can safely say, now having read it, that it might have been risque back when it was first written, and there is a lot of sex in it, and of course, the C bomb, but it kind of felt a bit tame. Maybe it’s because I’ve been exposed to far too much fan fiction, but I just found it unsatisfyingly unerotic. In fact, several of the love scenes felt a bit rapey to me. Especially the first few where Connie just says that she lay there inert while he thrusted against her or whatever the quote was. It kind of creeped me out a little.
And, right, I didn’t really like that no one seemed to have a very good idea about what marriage is all about. Like, if you marry someone and you can’t sexually please them any more, is it not a bit insulting to tell them to go and get pregnant by someone else? Cos, that kind of defies the point of being married. So yeah. There were several bits of this that I really didn’t like. But, to start with it was fairly amusing and I did find that it wasn’t bogged down with archaic language which was nice. Having said that, it really irritates me when people write in a dialect, I get that Mellors has a strong accent and that this is as much a discussion on class as it is about sexual revolutions etc, but I couldn’t understand a word the man said. It made it very difficult to get a hold on his character and it made it insanely hard to read. That probably wasn’t helped by the fact that I read it on Goodreads using my phone mostly, if I’d had a paper back or a kindle version, it might have sat with me a little better.
I do have to say all the covers are well saucy and made me laugh a lot, so well done on the cover design front at least. I don’t think it’ll put me off reading other D H Lawrence books, I just really didn’t get on with this one. But that’s ok, because we aren’t supposed to like everything and at least I read it!
There was a great quote in this that did make me laugh heartily for a couple of minutes and that was this: “I believe in having a good heart, a chirpy penis, a lively intelligence and the courage to say shit in front of a lady.”
So, well done for that line Lawrence.
In other non Chatterley related news and probably rather inappropriately added in on the end, as part of my awesome new job I get to go and take photos of World Book Day events tomorrow. This excites me because it means I get to see lots of kids dressing up as their favourite book characters. I’m hoping for at least one Hogwarts student and maybe a home made Gruffalo costume.