D. H. Lawrence’s sequel to his earlier novel ‘The Rainbow’ (1915) follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Lawrence contrasts this pair with the love that develops between Ursula and Rupert Birkin, an alienated intellectual who articulates many opinions associated with the author.
The emotional relationships thus established are given further depth and tension by an intense psychological and physical attraction between Gerald and Rupert.
The novel ranges over the whole of British society before the time of the First World War and eventually ends high up in the snows of the Tyrolean Alps. Ursula's character draws on Lawrence's wife Frieda, and Gudrun on Katherine Mansfield, while Rupert Birken has elements of Lawrence himself, and Gerald Crich of Mansfield's husband, John Middleton Murry.