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Lady Chatterley's Lover-D H Lawrance

Lady Chatterley's Lover-D H Lawrance

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Lady Chatterley's Lover
Author: D H Lawrence
4/28/2008 8:56 PM
This site is full of FREE ebooks -Project Gutenberg Australia
 Title: Lady Chatterley's LoverAuthor: D H Lawrence * A Project Gutenberg of AustraliaeBook *eBook No.: 0100181.txt Language: EnglishDate first posted: November 2001Datemost recently updated: March 2008  This eBook was produced by: Colin Choat Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created fromprinted editionswhichare in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright noticeis included.We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particularpaper edition. Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check thecopyrightlaws for your country before downloading or redistributing thisfile.  This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the termsof the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online athttp://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html  To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to http://gutenberg.net.au  Title: Lady Chatterley's LoverAuthor: D H Lawrence Chapter 1 Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.Thecataclysmhas happened, we are among the ruins, we start to buildup new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hardwork: there isnow no smooth road into the future: but we go round, orscramble over theobstacles. We've got to live, no matter how manyskies have fallen.  This was more or less Constance Chatterley's position. The war hadbroughtthe roof down over her head. And she had realized that one mustlive and learn.She married Clifford Chatterley in 1917, when he was home for a monthon leave. They had a month's honeymoon. Then he went back to Flanders:to be shipped over to England again six months later, more or less inbits. Constance, his wife, was then twenty-three years old, and he wastwenty-nine. His hold on life was marvellous. He didn't die, and the bits seemed to
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grow together again. For two years he remained in the doctor's hands.Thenhe was pronounced a cure, and could return to life again, with thelower halof his body, fromthe hips down, paralysed for ever.  This was in 1920. They returned, Clifford and Constance, to his home,Wragby Hall, the family 'seat'. His father had died, Clifford was now abaronet, SirClifford, and Constance was Lady Chatterley. They came tostart housekeepingand married life in the rather forlorn home of theChatterleys on a rather inadequate income. Clifford had a sister, butshe had departed. Otherwise there were no near relatives. The elderbrother was dead in the war. Crippledfor ever, knowing he could neverhave any children, Clifford came home to thesmoky Midlands to keep theChatterley name alive while he could. He was not really downcast. He could wheel himself about in a wheeledchair, and he had a bath-chair with a small motor attachment, so hecould drive himself slowly round the garden and into the linemelancholy park, of which he was really so proud, though he pretendedto be flippant about it. Having suffered so much, the capacity for suffering had to some extentlefthim. He remained strange and bright and cheerful, almost, onemight say, chirpy, with his ruddy, healthy-looking face, and hispale-blue, challenging bright eyes. His shoulders were broad andstrong, his hands were very strong.He was expensively dressed, andwore handsome neckties fromBond Street. Yetstill in his face one saw the watchful look, the slight vacancy of a cripple.He had so very nearly lost his life, that what remained was wonderfullyprecious to him. It was obvious in the anxious brightness of hiseyes,how proud he was, after the great shock, of being alive. But he hadbeenso much hurt that something inside himhad perished, some of hisfeelings hadgone. There was a blank of insentience. Constance, his wife, was a ruddy, country-looking girl with soft brownhair and sturdy body, and slow movements, full of unusual energy. Shehad big, wondering eyes, and a soft mild voice, and seemed just to havecome fromhernative village. It was not so at all. Her father was theonce well-known R. A., old Sir MalcolmReid. Her mother had been one ofthe cultivated Fabiansin the palmy, rather pre-Raphaelite days.Between artists and cultured socialists, Constance and her sister Hildahad had what might be called an aesthetically unconventionalupbringing. They had been taken to Paris and Florence and Rome tobreathe in art, and they had been taken also in the otherdirection, tothe Hague and Berlin, to great Socialist conventions, where thespeakers spoke in every civilized tongue, and no one was abashed.  The two girls, therefore, were froman early age not the least dauntedbyeither art or ideal politics. It was their natural atmosphere. Theywere atonce cosmopolitan and provincial, with the cosmopolitanprovincialismof art that goes with pure social ideals.  They had been sent to Dresden at the age of fifteen, for music amongotherthings. And they had had a good time there. They lived freelyamong the students, they argued with the men over philosophical,sociological and artistic matters, they were just as good as the menthemselves: only better,since they were women. And they tramped off tothe forests with sturdy youthsbearing guitars, twang-twang! They sangthe Wandervogel songs, and they werefree. Free! That was the greatword. Out in the open world, out in the forestsof the morning, withlusty and splendid-throated young fellows, free to do as they liked,and--above all--to say what they liked. It was the talk thatmatteredsupremely: the impassioned interchange of talk. Love was only a minoraccompaniment. Both Hilda and Constance had had their tentative love-affairs by thetime they were eighteen. The young men with whomthey talked sopassionately and sang so lustily and camped under the trees in suchfreedomwanted, of course, the love connexion. The girls were doubtful,but then the thing was so much talked about, it was supposed to be soimportant. And the men were so humble and craving. Why couldn't a girlbe queenly, and give the gift of herself? So they had given the gift of themselves, each to the youth with whomshe hadthe most subtle and intimate arguments. The arguments, thediscussions werethe great thing: the love-making and connexion wereonly a sort of primitivereversion and a bit of an anti-climax. One wasless in love with the boy afterwards, and a little inclined to hate
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him, as if he had trespassed on one's privacy and inner freedom. For,of course, being a girl, one's whole dignity and meaning in lifeconsisted in the achievement of an absolute, a perfect, a pure andnoble freedom. What else did a girl's life mean? To shake off the oldand sordid connexions and subjections. And however one might sentimentalize it, this sex business was one ofthe most ancient, sordid connexions and subjections. Poets whoglorified it were mostly men. Women had always known there wassomething better, something higher. And now they knew it moredefinitely than ever. The beautiful pure freedomof a woman wasinfinitely more wonderful than any sexual love. The only unfortunatething was that men lagged so far behind women in the matter. Theyinsisted on the sex thing like dogs. And a woman had to yield. A man was like a child with his appetites. Awomanhad to yield himwhat he wanted, or like a child he wouldprobably turn nasty and flounce away and spoil what was a very pleasantconnexion. But a womancould yield to a man without yielding her inner,free self. That the poetsand talkers about sex did not seemto havetaken sufficiently into account.A woman could take a man withoutreally giving herself away. Certainly shecould take himwithout givingherself into his power. Rather she could usethis sex thing to havepower over him. For she only had to hold herself backin sexualintercourse, and let himfinish and expend himself without herselfcoming to the crisis: and then she could prolong the connexion andachieve her orgasmand her crisis while he was merely her tool. Both sisters had had their love experience by the time the war came,and theywere hurried home. Neither was ever in love with a young manunless he andshe were verbally very near: that is unless they wereprofoundly interested, TALKING to one another. The amazing, theprofound, the unbelievable thrillthere was in passionately talking tosome really clever young man by the hour,resuming day after day formonths...this they had never realized till it happened! The paradisalpromise: Thou shalt have men to talk to!--had never been uttered. Itwas fulfilled before they knew what a promise it was. And if after the roused intimacy of these vivid and soul-enlighteneddiscussions the sex thing became more or less inevitable,then let it.It marked the end of a chapter. It had a thrill of its own too:a queervibrating thrill inside the body, a final spasmof self-assertion, likethe last word, exciting, and very like the row of asterisks that can beputto show the end of a paragraph, and a break in the theme. When the girls came home for the summer holidays of 1913, when Hildawastwenty and Connie eighteen, their father could see plainly thatthey hadhad the love experience. L'amour avait passé par là, as somebody puts it. But he was a man ofexperiencehimself, and let life take its course. As for the mot anervous invalid inthe last few months of her life, she wanted hergirls to be 'free', and to'fulfil themselves'. She herself had neverbeen able to be altogether herself: it had been denied her. Heavenknows why, for she was a woman whohad her own income and her own way.She blamed her husband. But as a matter of fact, it was some oldimpression of authority on her own mind or soul thatshe could not getrid of. It had nothing to do with Sir Malcolm, who lefthis nervouslyhostile, high-spirited wife to rule her own roost, while hewent hisown way. So the girls were 'free', and went back to Dresden, and their music,and theuniversity and the young men. They loved their respective youngmen, and theirrespective young men loved themwith all the passion ofmental attraction.All the wonderful things the young men thought andexpressed and wrote, they thought and expressed and wrote for the youngwomen. Connie's young man wasmusical, Hilda's was technical. But theysimply lived for their young women.In their minds and their mentalexcitements, that is. Somewhere else they were a little rebuffed,though they did not know it. It was obvious in themtoo that love had gone through them: that is,the physical experience. It is curious what a subtle but unmistakabletransmutation it makes, both in the body of men and women: the womanmore blooming, more subtly rounded, her young angularities softened,and her expression either anxious or triumphant: the man much quieter,more inward, the very shapes of his shoulders and his buttocks lessassertive, more hesitant.

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