Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shaped by Books: Lady Chatterly's Lover

Lady Chatterly's Lover by DH Lawrence it has - to be fair - a bit of a reputation. That it was the subject of a public censorship trial certainly adds to the mystique that surrounds the book. I actually read extracts of the trial transcripts of both the Prosecution and the Defence before I read the book itself. And well, it just goes to show how sensationalised the issue of 'rude' language can become that when I finally picked up the book I had the impression that the entire thing would be full of swearing and Mr. DH was a potty-mouth. (Having already established from reading some of his short stories that he didn't really like women all that much and wrote about them rather nastily at times - it was shaping up to be a book that I wanted to hate).

It wasn't. I didn't. I suprised myself with how much I loved this book. It was wonderfully romantic, well written and very enjoyable to read. It is indeed Literature with a capital L and created a beautiful and sympathetic portrait of the lovers. So this book challenged my expectations and its own reputation. Do read the trial notes; do read all the debate but don't judge unless you have read the book itself.