Lush with religious and metaphysical imagery, this is the story of three generations of the Brangwen family, set against the decline of the rural English midlands. It peers into a family’s sexual mores, exposing the sexual dynamics of marriage and physical love. D.H. Lawrence explores the lives of three generations of the Brangwen family, conveying how their rural existence is gradually but profoundly changed by the influx of industry and urbanism. But it is young Ursula Brangwen, discovering herself through her sexual awakening, who becomes the focus of Lawrence’s classic work, which was banned by court order when it was first published in London in 1915.
The Brangwens had lived for generations on the Marsh Farm, in the meadows where the Erewash twisted sluggishly through alder trees, separating Derbyshire from Nottinghamshire. Two miles away, a church–tower stood on a hill, the houses of the little country town climbing assiduously up to it. Whenever one of the Brangwens in the fields lifted his head from his work, he saw the church–tower at Ilkeston in the empty sky. So that as he turned again to the horizontal land, he was aware of something standing above him and beyond him in the distance.
There was a look in the eyes of the Brangwens as if they were expecting something unknown, about which they were eager. They had that air of readiness for what would come to them, a kind of surety, an expectancy, the look of an inheritor.
They were fresh, blond, slow–speaking people, revealing themselves plainly, but slowly, so that one could watch the change in their eyes from laughter to anger, blue, lit–up laughter, to a hard blue–staring anger; through all the irresolute stages of the sky when the weather is changing.