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Sons and Lovers, by D. Lawrence, is part of the Literary Classics Collection, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of the Literary Classics Collection: The Literary Classics Collection pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. The third published novel of D. Lawrence, taken by many to be his earliest masterpiece, tells the story of Paul Morel, a young man and budding artist.
Richard Aldington explains the semi-autobiographical nature of his masterpiece: When you have experienced Sons and Lovers you have lived through the agonies of the young Lawrence striving to win free from his old life'. Generally, it is not only considered as an evocative portrayal of working-class life in a mining community, but also an intense study of family, class and early sexual relationships. Read more Read less.
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- D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers: Summary & Analysis - SchoolWorkHelper.
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There's a problem loading this menu right now. The Modern Library placed it ninth on their list of the best novels of the 20th century. While the novel initially received a lukewarm critical reception, along with allegations of obscenity, it is today regarded as a masterpiece by many critics and is often regarded as Lawrence's finest achievement. The third published novel of D. Lawrence , taken by many to be his earliest masterpiece, tells the story of Paul Morel, a young man and budding artist.
The original edition was heavily edited by Edward Garnett who removed 80 passages, roughly a tenth of the text. Garnett, as the literary advisor to the publishing firm Duckworth, was an important figure in leading Lawrence farther into the London literary world during the years and Lawrence began working on the novel in the period of his mother's illness, and often expresses this sense of his mother's wasted life through his female protagonist Gertrude Morel.
Letters written around the time of its development clearly demonstrate the admiration he felt for his mother — viewing her as a 'clever, ironical, delicately moulded woman' — and her apparently unfortunate marriage to his coal-miner father, a man of 'sanguine temperament' and instability. He believed that his mother had married below her class status. Lydia Lawrence wasn't born into the middle-class. The first draft of Lawrence's novel is now lost and was never completed, which seems to be directly due to his mother's illness.
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He did not return to the novel for three months, at which point it was titled 'Paul Morel'. The penultimate draft of the novel coincided with a remarkable change in Lawrence's life, as his health was thrown into turmoil and he resigned his teaching job to spend time in Germany. This plan was never followed, however, as he met and married the German minor aristocrat, Frieda Weekley, who was the wife of a former professor of his at the University of Nottingham.
According to Frieda's account of their first meeting, she and Lawrence talked about Oedipus and the effects of early childhood on later life within twenty minutes of meeting. The third draft of 'Paul Morel' was sent to the publishing house Heinemann ; the response, a rather violent reaction, came from William Heinemann himself.
His reaction captures the shock and newness of Lawrence's novel, 'the degradation of the mother [as explored in this novel], supposed to be of gentler birth, is almost inconceivable'; he encouraged Lawrence to redraft the novel one more time. In addition to altering the title to a more thematic 'Sons and Lovers', Heinemann's response had reinvigorated Lawrence into vehemently defending his novel and its themes as a coherent work of art.
To justify its form, Lawrence explains, in letters to Garnett, that it is a 'great tragedy' and a 'great book', one that mirrors the 'tragedy of thousands of young men in England'. Lawrence rewrote the work four times until he was happy with it. Although before publication the work was usually titled Paul Morel , Lawrence finally settled on Sons and Lovers. The refined daughter of a "good old burgher family," Gertrude Coppard meets a rough-hewn miner, Walter Morel, at a Christmas dance and falls into a whirlwind romance characterised by physical passion.
But soon after her marriage to Walter, she realises the difficulties of living off his meagre salary in a rented house. The couple fight and drift apart and Walter retreats to the pub after work each day. Morel's affections shift to her sons beginning with the oldest, William. As a boy, William is so attached to his mother that he doesn't enjoy the fair without her.
Sons and Lovers - Wikipedia
As he grows older, he defends her against his father's occasional violence. Eventually, he leaves their Nottinghamshire home for a job in London, where he begins to rise up into the middle class. He is engaged, but he detests the girl's superficiality. He dies and Mrs. Morel is heartbroken, but when Paul catches pneumonia she rediscovers her love for her second son. Both repulsed by and drawn to his mother, Paul is afraid to leave her but wants to go out on his own, and needs to experience love.