Read Harder: Banned Book

Title: Lady Chatterley's Lover

Author: D.H Lawrence

Genre: Classic Romance

Series: Lady Chatterley #1

No. of pages: 376

Rating: 3/5

This weeks read harder challenge was to read a book that has been banned in your country.

Now, from my research I couldn't find any books that are currently banned so I decided to go for the next best thing; books that have been previously banned but were now un-banned.

So I chose Lady Chatterley's Lover by Mr D.H Lawrence. Lady Chatterley's lover was a book created by Lawrence created in 1928. He had the book published privately in Italy and France but boy did he kick up a fuss. The book was subsequently banned in the UK, Australia, Canada, the US and India. There were outcries of the lewd nature of the book, the frank talk about sex and intimacy and extra-marital affairs. In 1960, a trial was held in the UK and the book was released from its ban.

While reading this, I tried to understand why this book was considered so obscene. I mean we have 50 shades of grey which didn't have any fingers pointed at it and that book discusses more unique sex forms. This book discussed pure 'vanilla' sex between a man and a woman. So what was the issue?

"Would you allow this book to be read by your wives and servants?" The prosecution asked a stunned jury. Yes, I guess it would be uncomfortable if you saw a great aunt reading 50 shades, but there is nothing wrong with it. Sex is commonplace and that's how you exist. Plus I feel like now that we are in the 21st century we are a bit more open about sex but even then it's still avoided.  I am of the belief that it should be celebrated. It's not something you should be ashamed to talk about because it is what it is. But we digress.

Lady Chatterley's Lover is a book about Constance or Connie, a middle-class Scottish woman who falls in love with and marries Lord Clifford of Wragby Hall. Lord Clifford is called away to the war and come back paralysed from the waist down. Connie deals with the new circumstances she's placed but finds she's feeling unfulfilled and commences an affair with their gamekeeper Oliver Mellors.

This book tackles two very important messages which I haven't seen tackled in a classic book before.

The first is inter-class relationships. It isn't even the fact that Connie is having an affair. Her husband actually endorses her having an affair so she can get pregnant and provide an heir to Wragby. It's the fact that it is with someone of a lower class.

The whole class factor is really important throughout the book. Clifford is snobbish and looks down on anyone who is foreign or of a lower class. His reason for this is because he doesn't understand them. Connie's father and sister are very glad she's having an affair since they hate Clifford but wrinkle their noses when they find out it's a servant. I believe the main thought held by people when this book was banned was "what if people get ideas? such things can't be condoned! people have to stay within their limits or society will fall into a disorganised mess."

The second important theme is female sexuality. This book discusses a woman's orgasm and interest in sex. Mellors talks about how most women only have sex because of its part of the marriage, not because they enjoy it. He also speaks about women not finding any pleasure through sex. When Connie first experiences an orgasm with Mellors, she is amazed. She has a full 3-page monologue about her body and how she feels.

So as a feminist you would think that I would like this book and give it a 5 out of 5 since it talks about female sexuality and knocking down barriers.


I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The reason?

Poor writing and useless description. This book took longer to come to the point than a sloth smiling.

There was too much description, the ending was poor and despite having good themes and ideas the book didn't pack a punch. It was flat and took for-ev-er for me to finish. If we cut out all the crap in the ending and beginning and slimmed the book down to 150 pages it would have had a better effect.

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