David Herbert Lawrence (1885 1930) expected The Rainbow to cause a stir. In a characteristically open exploration of sensual and explicit themes, the novel traces more than sixty years of pre-war life and three generations of the Brangwen family. Employing language infused with the rich imagery and repetition of biblical texts to treat all subjects from the green fields and empty skies of the Brangwen farm through to Ursula's encounter with a female schoolteacher Lawrence took an assuredly striking approach. However, he was unprepared for the vitriolic attacks of his reviewers. The novel was branded 'utter filth' and 'a mass of obscenity'; it was banned only a month after its publication in 1915, unsold copies being confiscated and destroyed. A second, abridged edition would not appear for another eleven years. Now a landmark in the early modernist canon, the original and unabridged text of 1915 is reissued here."
About the Author
David Ellis is the author of Lawrence's Non-Fiction: Art, Thought and Genre and Wordsworth, Freud and the Spots of Time. He has been commissioned to write Volume HI of the New Cambridge biography of Lawrence.