Arts, Books, Venue

Lustful literature: Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a book that is famed for being sexually explicit. It was written by D. H. Lawrence in 1928 but was only published by a small publishing house in Florence. There was an infamous trial held in 1959 where Penguin attempted to publish the text and distribute it nationally, however the novel was declared to have a corrupting influence upon the young and vulnerable minds of women (yawn). The novel explicitly describes the occasions when Connie Chatterley sleeps with not one, but two men outside of her marital bed, and eventually conceives a child by her gamekeeper Mellors. Mellors and Connie are both married to different people but form an adulterous and scandalous relationship and fall madly in love. The books explicit scenes revolve around a lonely wood shack in the middle of the Chatterley’s estate. The scandalous nature of the mixing of classes causes outrage amongst society within the text, but also outside of the text – hence the trial. 

D.H Lawrence was criticised for his repetitive style and his use of explicit language. However, this use of language frames Mellors as a character. The defence within the trial said that D.H. Lawrence was amongst the top ten greatest writers in the twentieth century and to prevent the distribution of Lady Chatterley’s Lover would be a social and academic injustice. The trial concluded that the book could be published and now anyone is able to purchase the text and read it to their hearts delight. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is perhaps one of the best known texts for its sexually explicit content, but what was considered scandalous in the 1920’s is laughable in the 2020’s. Oh my what a century can do to a troubled society.


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Jess Barrett

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September 2021
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