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The Rainbow

D. H. Lawrence

Book Overview: 

The Rainbow follows three generations of the Brangwen family, particularly focusing on the sexual dynamics of, and relations between, the characters.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .within a potent, sensuous belief that included her family and contained her destiny.

To this she had reduced her husband. He existed with her entirely indifferent to the general values of the world. Her very ways, the very mark of her eyebrows were symbols and indication to him. There, on the farm with her, he lived through a mystery of life and death and creation, strange, profound ecstasies and incommunicable satisfactions, of which the rest of the world knew nothing; which made the pair of them apart and respected in the English village, for they were also well-to-do.

But Anna was only half safe within her mother's unthinking knowledge. She had a mother-of-pearl rosary that had been her own father's. What it meant to her she could never say. But the string of moonlight and silver, when she had it between her fingers, filled her with strange passion. She learned at school a little Latin, she learned an Ave Maria and a Pater Noster, she learned how . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Nowhere else within the broad realm of literature have I come across such beauteous turns of phrase devoted to exploring the many dimensions of sexual desire. In fact, I cannot cease to wonder how Lawrence manages to convey the intensity and intimacy of a kiss and a caress so effectually without...more

The Rainbow was published in 1915 and was the prequel to Women in Love (1920). It is set in rural England in the early 20th century, and is the story of three generations of the Brangwen family. It deals with themes like love, relationships, family, homosexuality, social mores, religious rebellio...more

These were the precursors to having a book banned:
1. Talk about lesbian love
2. Mention love between cousins
3. Mention sex
4. Have independent-minded women, you know, those who didn't believe that they were put on this earth simply to procreate?
Speaking of women and societal expectations, even in t...more

Farty proto-fascist flapdoodle served up with a twist of hippy bollocks and garnished with enough of a patina of feminist sympathy for it to goosestep rapidly under some people's radar. Yes DH Lawrence could write. Somebody should have stopped him though.

“She turned, and saw a great white moon looking at her over the hill. And her breast opened to it, she was cleaved like a transparent jewel to its light. She stood filled with the moon, offering herself. Her two breasts opened to make way for it, her body opened wide like a quivering anemone, a...more

”The situation was almost ridiculous.

‘But do you love him?’ asked Dorothy.

‘It isn’t a question of loving him,’ said Ursula. ‘I love him well enough--certainly more than I love anybody else in the world. And I shall never love anybody else the same again. We have had the flower of each other. But...more

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Working-Class Fiction: "The Rainbow" by D. H. Lawrence

(Original Review, 2002-06-08)

Lawrence is "uneven," but of the four novels I've read by him, "The Rainbow" is the best. I read "Sons and Lovers" at the British Council. I loved it at...more

Reread 3/11/17

I listened to The Rainbow read by Maureen O’Brien on audible and have come to like the story more on the second read. The publication of the book is quite an accomplishment in 1915 and met with controversy mostly about the discussion of sex, premarital sex, and lesbianism. It is not...more

Roy G. Biv, the Birds and the Bees
*4.4 stars*

This D.H. Lawrence novel, published in 1915, was almost immediately banned as obscene and the first printing of over 1,000 copies were seized and burned. It was not available for purchase in Britain for the next 11 years.

No doubt, this book treated s...more

This is a three-generation family saga, set in Nottinghamshire, starting in Victorian times and ending before fears of WW1 loomed. Except that it isn’t that: the brief Introduction summarises all the key characters, careers, couplings, births and deaths.

Events are mere tools and waypoints, not t...more

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