Women in Love

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Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873—1938) literary hostess



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A novel by D. H. Lawrence, published in London 1921.

The sisters Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen (who first appeared in The Rainbow) live in Beldover, a Midlands colliery town. Ursula has been teaching at the Grammar School and Gudrun has just returned from art school in London. Ursula is in love with Rupert Birkin (a self‐portrait of Lawrence), a school‐inspector involved in an unsatisfactory affair with Hermione Roddice, an eccentric and dominating literary hostess. Gudrun meets Gerald Crich, friend of Birkin and son of the local colliery owner. As a boy Gerald has accidentically killed his brother and now he feels responsible when his sister Diana is drowned. His father, Walter, is dying and he takes over management of the mine; Birkin breaks free from Hermione and hopes to find with Ursula the complete union between man and woman. Gerald suffers in his relationship with Gudrun, his mixture of violence and weakness arousing a destructive demon in her. Birkin offers Gerald love and friendship to be based on a new intimacy between men, but Gerald is unable to accept. Ursula and Birkin are married. Both couples take a trip to the Alps where they meet the corrupt sculptor Loerke, the ‘wizard rat’, with whom Gudrun flirts. While Ursula and Birkin move towards a real tenderness, Gudrun and Gerald become purely destructive until finally, in despair, Gerald wanders off into the snow and dies.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).

Reference entries

D. H. Lawrence (1885—1930) writer

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