Sons and Lovers (Vintage Classics)

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9780099540755: Sons and Lovers (Vintage Classics)
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Set in 1900s, this is a lushly descriptive and highly autobiographical portrayal of a young man growing up in a mining community Paul Morel is the focus of his disappointed and fiercely protective mother's life. Their tender, devoted, and intense bond comes under strain when Paul falls in love with Miriam Leivers, a local girl his mother disapproves of. The arrival of the provocatively modern Clara Dawes causes further tension and Paul is torn bewtween his individual desires and family allegiances. Set in a Nottinghamshire mining town at the turn of the 20th century this is a powerful portrayal of family and love in all its forms.

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Sons and Lovers was the first modern portrayal of a phenomenon that later, thanks to Freud, became easily recognizable as the Oedipus complex. Never was a son more indentured to his mother's love and full of hatred for his father than Paul Morel, D.H. Lawrence's young protagonist. Never, that is, except perhaps Lawrence himself. In his 1913 novel he grappled with the discordant loves that haunted him all his life--for his spiritual childhood sweetheart, here called Miriam, and for his mother, whom he transformed into Mrs. Morel. It is, by Lawrence's own account, a book aimed at depicting this woman's grasp: "as her sons grow up she selects them as lovers--first the eldest, then the second. These sons are urged into life by their reciprocal love of their mother--urged on and on. But when they come to manhood, they can't love, because their mother is the strongest power in their lives."

Of course, Mrs. Morel takes neither of her two elder sons (the first of whom dies early, which further intensifies her grip on Paul) as a literal lover, but nonetheless her psychological snare is immense. She loathes Paul's Miriam from the start, understanding that the girl's deep love of her son will oust her: "She's not like an ordinary woman, who can leave me my share in him. She wants to absorb him." Meanwhile, Paul plays his part with equal fervor, incapable of committing himself in either direction: "Why did his mother sit at home and suffer?... And why did he hate Miriam, and feel so cruel towards her, at the thought of his mother. If Miriam caused his mother suffering, then he hated her--and he easily hated her." Soon thereafter he even confesses to his mother: "I really don't love her. I talk to her, but I want to come home to you."

The result of all this is that Paul throws Miriam over for a married suffragette, Clara Dawes, who fulfills the sexual component of his ascent to manhood but leaves him, as ever, without a complete relationship to challenge his love for his mother. As Paul voyages from the working-class mining world to the spheres of commerce and art (he has fair success as a painter), he accepts that his own achievements must be equally his mother's. "There was so much to come out of him. Life for her was rich with promise. She was to see herself fulfilled... All his work was hers."

The cycles of Paul's relationships with these three women are terrifying at times, and Lawrence does nothing to dim their intensity. Nor does he shirk in his vivid, sensuous descriptions of the landscape that offers up its blossoms and beasts and "shimmeriness" to Paul's sensitive spirit. Sons and Lovers lays fully bare the souls of men and earth. Few books tell such whole, complicated truths about the permutations of love as resolutely without resolution. It's nothing short of searing to be brushed by humanity in this manner. --Melanie Rehak

Book Description:

Now printed in full for the first time, Sons and Lovers is one of the great works of twentieth-century literature. In 1913, at the time of its first publication, Lawrence reluctantly agreed to the removal of no fewer than eighty passages which until now have never been restored.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781853260476: Sons and Lovers (Wordsworth Classics)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1853260479 ISBN 13:  9781853260476
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 1997
Softcover

9780141441443: Sons and Lovers (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 2006
Softcover

9780679405726: Sons and Lovers (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series)

Everym..., 1991
Hardcover

9781107632288: Sons and Lovers (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of D. H. Lawrence)

Cambri..., 2013
Softcover

9780141199856: Penguin English Library Sons and Lovers (The Penguin English Library)

Pengui..., 2012
Softcover

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY RICHARD EYREPaul Morel is the focus of his disappointed and fiercely protective mother's life. Their tender, devoted and intense bond comes under strain when Paul falls in love with Miriam Leivers, a local girl his mother disapproves of. The arrival of the provocatively modern Clara Dawes causes further tension and Paul is torn between his individual desires and family allegiances. Set in a Nottinghamshire mining town at the turn of the twentieth century, this is a powerful portrayal of family and love in all its forms. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780099540755

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY RICHARD EYREPaul Morel is the focus of his disappointed and fiercely protective mother's life. Their tender, devoted and intense bond comes under strain when Paul falls in love with Miriam Leivers, a local girl his mother disapproves of. The arrival of the provocatively modern Clara Dawes causes further tension and Paul is torn between his individual desires and family allegiances. Set in a Nottinghamshire mining town at the turn of the twentieth century, this is a powerful portrayal of family and love in all its forms. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780099540755

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