Introduction by Kathryn Harrison
Inspired by the long-standing affair between D. H. Lawrence’s German wife and an Italian peasant, Lady Chatterley’s Lover follows the intense passions of Constance Chatterley. Trapped in an unhappy marriage to an aristocratic mine owner whose war wounds have left him paralyzed and impotent, Constance enters into a liaison with the gamekeeper Mellors. Frank Kermode called the book D. H. Lawrence’s “great achievement,” Anaïs Nin described it as “his best novel,” and Archibald MacLeish hailed it as “one of the most important works of fiction of the century.” Along with an incisive Introduction by Kathryn Harrison, this Modern Library edition includes the transcript of the judge’s decision in the famous 1959 obscenity trial that allowed Lady Chatterley’s Lover to be published in the United States.
Perhaps the most famous of Lawrence's novels, the 1928 Lady Chatterley's Lover is no longer distinguished for the once-shockingly explicit treatment of its subject matter--the adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the game keeper who works for the estate owned by her wheelchaired husband. Now that we're used to reading about sex, and seeing it in the movies, it's apparent that the novel is memorable for better reasons: namely, that Lawrence was a masterful and lyrical writer, whose story takes us bodily into the world of its characters.