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The White Peacock

D. H. Lawrence

Book Overview: 

Lawrence’s first novel is set in Nethermere (his name for the real-life Eastwood in Nottinghamshire). The plot is narrated by Cyril Beardsall and focuses in particular on the relationship of his sister Lettie with two admirers, the more handsome and down to earth George and the more effete gentleman Leslie. She eventually marries Leslie although she is sexually attracted to George. George marries the conventional Meg and both marriages end in unhappiness.
The countryside of the English midlands is beautifully evoked and there is powerful description also of the impact of industrialisation on both town and country.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .She shrugged her shoulders, laughed, and turned to pick up a scarlet pimpernel.

"How do you bind the corn?" she asked.

He took some long straws, cleaned them, and showed her the way to hold them. Instead of attending, she looked at his hands, big, hard, inflamed by the snaith of the scythe.

"I don't think I could do it," she said.

"No," he replied quietly, and watched Leslie mowing. The latter who was wonderfully ready at everything, was doing fairly well, but he had not the invincible sweep of the other, nor did he make the same crisp crunching music.

"I bet he'll sweat," said George.

"Don't you?" she replied.

"A bit—but I'm not dressed up."

"Do you know," she said suddenly, "your arms tempt me to touch them. They are such a fine brown colour, and they look so hard."

He held out one arm to her. She hesitated, then she swiftly put her finger tips on the smooth brown muscle, and dr. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Lawrence's first novel 'The White Peacock', published in 1911, exhibits all the charms and faults you would expect of a first novel. It was six years in the writing, undergoing three re-writes, yet despite its long gestation it would have benefitted from some prudent editing and re-structuring of...more

Charming first novel from one of English's greatest novelists, full of the kind of stuff that would make Lawrence famous. Everyone feels, everyone suffers, relationships fail. Ah, Lawrence.

I see that Lawrence reworked this novel 3 times. If only one of those times he had realised that the first person narration didn't work - at times it feels that the narrator is just a voyeur, and too often I found myself thinking, well how does he know that? And why, in his revisions, didn't he w...more

I was happy to have read the debut novel of one of my favorite authors this year, The White Peacock by D.H. Lawrence. Like most of his later work, I found the story involving and upsetting per usual. He focuses on a kind of small hamlet of characters and how they connect and live among the animal...more

« دي. اچ. لارنس نويسنده ناممكنهاست؛ يا به عبارت بهتر، نويسندهايست ناممكن؛ همچون همين پيشگفتار كه پس از پايان ترجمه داستانهايي از او قرار گرفته اما پيش از آن ظاهر شده، گويي كه «آينده» را جاي «گذشته» جا زده است. اگر براي هر شاعر يا نويسندهاي قائل به خانوادهاي باشيم كه او را در بر ميگيرد، بيگمان باي...more

Kitabin dili güzel , temiz ve akıcı. Hele doğa tasvirleri mükemmeldi. Yalnız, zaman geçişlerinde bir sıkıntı söz konusu.

Lawrence's first novel and clearly a biographical snapshot of his young manhood is flawed and unfulfilling, but shows the sketched outline of the genius to come. "The White Peacock" is full of landscapes that change with the seasons and the moods of its characters. While the natural world gets de...more

Never mind the naysayer's this book is a masterpiece.

It is always interesting to read a major author's last works first, and then delve into their first novel. I found myself spiralling down from a Love Among the Haystacks quaintness, to a period Enid Blyton curiosity, and finally to a period piece of young adult (YA) fiction. That is, until toward...more

This is a re-read. As Lawrence's first novel, this one acts really as a foreshadow of brilliance to come in his later works. To me, his ability to capture the beauty and simplicity of nature is unparalleled. He often juxtaposes nature with the complexities (words, actions, spirit) of his characte...more

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