D.H. Lawrence finished “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” in 1928, but it was not published in an uncensored version until 1960.
Many contemporary critics of D.H. Lawrence viewed the Victorian love story as vulgar, and even pornographic. It was banned immediately upon publication in both the UK and the US. The obscenity trials which followed established legal precedents for literature which still endure.
At the heart, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is a story about the invisible bonds between lovers, companions, and husbands and wives. Against this backdrop, Lawrence also explores the relationship between physical desire and spiritual fulfillment, often using sensual and explicitly sexual language.
Excerpt from Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence – Restored Modern Edition. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
He went down again into the darkness and seclusion of the wood. But he knew that the seclusion of the wood was illusory. The industrial noises broke the solitude, the sharp lights, though unseen, mocked it. A man could no longer be private and withdrawn. The world allows no hermits. And now he had taken the woman, and brought on himself a new cycle of pain and doom. For he knew by experience what it meant.
It was not woman’s fault, nor even love’s fault, nor the fault of sex. The fault lay there, out there, in those evil electric lights and diabolical rattlings of engines. There, in the world of the mechanical greedy, greedy mechanism and mechanized greed, sparkling with lights and gushing hot metal and roaring with traffic, there lay the vast evil thing, ready to destroy whatever did not conform. Soon it would destroy the wood, and the bluebells would spring no more. All vulnerable things must perish under the rolling and running of iron.
He thought with infinite tenderness of the woman. Poor forlorn thing, she was nicer than she knew, and oh! so much too nice for the tough lot she was in contact with. Poor thing, she too had some of the vulnerability of the wild hyacinths, she wasn’t all tough rubber-goods and platinum, like the modern girl. And they would do her in! As sure as life, they would do her in, as they do in all naturally tender life.