Banned Book for October Discussion

1932 edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a novel by English author D.H Lawrence that was first published privately in 1928 in Italy and in 1929 in France. An unexpurgated edition was not published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960, when it was the subject of a watershed obscenity against the publisher Penguin Books, which won the case and quickly sold three million copies.  The book was also banned for obscenity in the United States, Canada, Australia, India and Japan. The book soon became notorious for its story of the physical (and emotional) relationship between a working class man and an upper-class woman.

Pageturners meet on Wednesday 13 October at 12.30pm and 5.30pm to discuss this novel at Orange City Library.

Please note check-in, mask wearing, physical distancing and hygiene rules apply and as of Monday 11 October NSW Public Health Roadmap Orders will require us to view proof of your double vaccination. If you need assistance with downloading your COVID-19 Digital Certificate, please visit us at Orange City Library where we can offer technical assistance. Thank you & see you soon.

One thought on “Banned Book for October Discussion

  1. Paul Anderson October 12, 2021 / 11:48 am

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

    Is it hot in here, or is it just me? This is a novel with staying power— written in 1926 and still potent. I had not read D. H. Lawrence before although knew this book had been banned for obscenity.

    Sexual love is portrayed — erotically, carnally, playfully — but now I think it would only be some of the language used — one or two choice words — that might still have any potential to offend. I don’t think the c-word has been entirely liberated, even yet.

    I learned from reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover that it contains a heap of other content: the novel is in ways anti-capitalist (‘the bitch-goddess Success’), anti-industrial, and anti-war (post-First World War). It’s a serious work of deep thought not a titillation.

    ‘This is history. One England blots out another. The mines had made the halls wealthy. Now they were blotting them out, as they had already blotted out the cottages. The industrial England blots out the agricultural England. One meaning blots out another. The new England blots out the old England. And the continuity is not organic, but mechanical.’ (p156)

    Personal will is a strong theme: the power to choose one’s own actions, also the fear of same — both are evident in Constance and Mellors’ relationship. The seasons are conspicuous: it is springtime during much of the narrative and the natural word is fecund. The drawing to an end feels a bit compressed, after Constance goes to Venice: all those letters between Wragby Hall and the Villa Esmeralda … the hounding of Mellors by his wife.

    I read the Penguin Classics edition of the book (2006) which has an insightful introduction by Doris Lessing and copious explanatory notes at the back. This was a good way to both read and inform myself of this classic.

    4/5.

    Like

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