Women in Love

Women in Love

Women in Love

Women in Love

Excerpt

Women in Love was written in Cornwall during the spring and early summer of 1916. If we disregard The Lost Girl--begun in 1913 but not finished until May, 1920--Women in Love was Lawrence's fifth novel, and certainly one of his most original and striking novels, in his opinion the best until even greater opposition was aroused by Lady Chatterley's Lover.

The infamous prosecution and suppression of The Rainbow in October, 1915, had resulted in Lawrence selling up his London home and removing to Cornwall. It also made him very ill. Only with spring did he begin to recover. Legal bullying and robbery had reduced him to real poverty, a situation he met gallantly by living in a tiny two-room cottage costing five pounds a year. We must all gratefully remember this official patronage of the greatest and most original English writer of his age.

As health gradually returned, Lawrence's undaunted courage and energy turned him to thoughts of another of the full-length book which made such terrific demands on his strength. His first idea was to complete The Lost Girl, but his efforts to obtain the incomplete MS. from his wife's relatives in Germany failed. "Soon I shall begin to work," he wrote Catherine Carswell, on the 16th April, 1916. "I am waiting for a novel manuscript to come from Germany."

No time was wasted in fruitless waiting. Within a few days of that letter he had begun a new, quite different novel, "a sequel to The Rainbow, though quite unlike it". Ten days after his letter to Mrs. Carswell he wrote to Lady Cynthia Asquith: "I am doing another novel that really occupies me. The world crackles and busts, but that is another matter, external, in chaos. One has a certain order inviolable in one's soul." The amazingly rapid progress of the book is carelessly recorded in his letters. On the 19th of May, a month after he had begun the book, he was able to tell his literary agent that already he was "halfway through". On the 24th May he wrote Lady Ottoline Morrell: "I have got a long way with my novel. It . . .

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