Spanning the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, D. H. Lawrence’s provocative novel traces the lives of three generations of one family on their Nottinghamshire farm. Rooted in an agrarian past, Tom and Lydia Brangwen and their descendants find themselves navigating a rapidly changing world—a world of unprecedented individualism, alienation, and liberation. Banned after an obscenity trial in 1915 for its frankness about sexuality, THE RAINBOW was most remarkable for the pathbreaking journeys of its female characters, particularly that of Ursula Brangwen, whose destiny Lawrence explored further in his next novel, Women in Love.
In its surface drama, in its capacious and expansive rhythms that so resemble the rhythms of nature itself, THE RAINBOW is one of the world’s great examples of the multi-generational family saga. But the large claim that Lawrence’s masterpiece has made on the attention of readers and critics stems less from this fact than from the deeper parallel history he provides for the Brangwens—a history of the growth of their souls, moving in a great arc from sensuality to self-awareness and freedom.
About the Author
The son of a miner, the prolific novelist, poet, and travel writer David Herbert Lawrence was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, in 1885. He attended Nottingham University and found employment as a schoolteacher. His first novel, "The White Peacock," was published in 1911, the same year his beloved mother died and he quit teaching after contracting pneumonia. The next year Lawrence published"Sons and Lovers"and ran off to Germany with Frieda Weekley, his former tutor s wife. His masterpieces"The Rainbow"and"Women in Love"were completed in quick succession, but the first was suppressed as indecent and the second was not published until 1920. Lawrence s lyrical writings challenged convention, promoting a return to an ideal of nature where sex is seen as a sacrament. In 1928 Lawrence s final novel, "Lady Chatterley s Lover," was banned in England and the United States for indecency. He died of tuberculosis in 1930 in Venice."
“[Lawrence] had that quality of genius which sucks out of ordinary experience essences strange or unknown to men.” —Anaïs Nin