Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the 50 Shades of Gray of the early 20th Century. J.H. Lawrence’s scandal of a novel is vividly written in a manner that no wonder shocked readers. It was so scandalous for the time that it was forbidden to be published in the unexpurgated version in the U.K. until 1960, and it wasn’t just because an upper-class woman fell for a lower-class man, or that it involved infidelity. It was scandalous, because of J.H. Lawrence’s description of the physical, sexual relationships. I was shocked when I started reading it—I mean, I immediately was aware of why there was so much controversy behind this book.
I love it, because it’s X-rated for 1928, but perhaps not so scandalous for today’s readers, and therefore there is just enough detail to shock you, but not too much leaving room for the imagination to get carried away. There are moments in the book that I questioned if J.H. Lawrence was really a man, or if he wrote this himself, because he seemed to understand a woman quite well—kind of like in the way Shakespeare did.
I think what I liked most about the story, is that Lawrence well illustrates Lady Chatterley’s entrapped life, and the unfairness of it all. I think a woman trapped, virtually unable to live her life freely and fully is one of the cruelest things to exist. He also paints the importance of and need for passion in life, the need to be touched and feel loved by another.
I have mixed feelings about Lady Chatterley’s character, though. I sympathize with her, but at times I find her a bit silly, like a young girl in love for the first time. However, overall it’s a passionate read, one that I’ll surely read more than once. And after three years of having no time but reading casebooks, Lady Chatterley’s love life was a welcome adventure to dive into. I swallowed it up in a few short days.
There are a couple of movie versions on Netflix. I was eager to watch them after finishing the book, but I don’t recommend either, because I think they both miss an important part of the story. The 2006 version is in French, and as much as I love Marina Hands as an actress, I just think J.H. Lawrence would be turning over in his grave if he’d known what had been done to his novel. They changed the ending, too, and the change is quite disappointing. It’s more than disappointing. The 1981 version is a British version, and it’s a little better than the 2006 one, but still not so fantastic. I mean, you never expect a film version to stay completely true to the book, but these are just so off, it’s a bit upsetting to be frank.
So anyways, skip the movies and devour the book. I noticed there’s a Spark Notes for this book, so for any teenagers who may be forced to read this, do READ this.
BIG LOVE & HUGS