A sequel to Lawrence’s earlier novel The Rainbow, Women in Love continues the story of the Brangwen sisters in the coal-mining town of Beldover. Based in part on Lawrence’s own stormy marriage to German aristocrat Frieda von Richthofen, the tale is charged with intense feelings and psychological insights as it focuses on the relationships of the two sisters–Ursula, who deeply loves and eventually marries a school inspector; and Gudrun, who is attracted to the son of a wealthy industrialist but, who, in time, finds only emptiness in their association.
Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the window–bay of their father’s house in Beldover, working and talking. Ursula was stitching a piece of brightly–coloured embroidery, and Gudrun was drawing upon a board which she held on her knee. They were mostly silent, talking as their thoughts strayed through their minds.
‘Ursula,’ said Gudrun, ‘don’t you really want to get married?’ Ursula laid her embroidery in her lap and looked up. Her face was calm and considerate.
‘I don’t know,’ she replied. ‘It depends how you mean.’