The Rainbow

The Rainbow Prosecuted in an obscenity trial in for its frank treatment of sexuality this novel chronicles the lines of three generations of the Brangwen family and the emergence of modern England Set betwe

  • Title: The Rainbow
  • Author: D.H. Lawrence Rachel Cusk
  • ISBN: 9780099541455
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Paperback
  • Prosecuted in an obscenity trial in 1915 for its frank treatment of sexuality, this novel chronicles the lines of three generations of the Brangwen family and the emergence of modern England Set between the 1840s and the early years of the 20th century, this novel tells the story of three generations of the Brangwen family, ancient occupiers of Marsh Farm, NottinghamshireProsecuted in an obscenity trial in 1915 for its frank treatment of sexuality, this novel chronicles the lines of three generations of the Brangwen family and the emergence of modern England Set between the 1840s and the early years of the 20th century, this novel tells the story of three generations of the Brangwen family, ancient occupiers of Marsh Farm, Nottinghamshire Through courting, pregnancy, marriage, and defiance, Lawrence explores love and the conflicts it brings.

    One thought on “The Rainbow”

    1. 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 the purpose or destination, because this is not primarily a story: it’s an experience of passions, clothed in elliptically floral, fiery, watery imagery, stained deep with Biblical themes. But these a [...]

    2. 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 deploying any explicit terms. His men and women are often capricious creatures of instinct and restless, stubborn adherents of their inexorable self will which causes them to be in conflict - even if ten [...]

    3. “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 soft, dilated invitation touched by the moon.” (268) Re-reading "The Rainbow" after so many years has been like a shattering force of nature. A rampant flood that has washed me anew, a piercing light [...]

    4. 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 rebellion, just to name a few. It was originally banned in England for it's frank portrayals of sex in nontraditional manners, something that Lawrence would encounter throughout his career.I read Women in Love f [...]

    5. 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 sexual desire as candidly as most books theretofore published. While it is relatively mild by today's standards over a century out, it handled sensuality in a way that is true to life as a natural and spi [...]

    6. 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.

    7. These were the precursors to having a book banned:1. Talk about lesbian love2. Mention love between cousins3. Mention sex4. 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 these modern times, some believe that a married woman is supposed to act according to a prescribed norm that is different than a married man (which way, I dare ask sometimes - is she not supposed to have [...]

    8. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence is perhaps one of his finest works.  Lawrence was born in 1885 the fourth son of a coal miner.  He was a sickly child and graduated teacher's training in Nottingham.  His writing created controversy and lead to some of his books and stories being banned.  Lawrence's most popular themes were the sexual and physiological life and the implications of class difference. The Rainbow, published in 1915, covers the life of the Brangwen family from the 1840s through 190 [...]

    9. I cannot explain it myself but I feel and have always felt, DH Lawrence's novels to be enormously tedious. I have read them out of a sense of duty to Literature with a capital L and have always been pleased when the ride was over. It is not that I am unsympathetic to the man or his ideas. Quite the contrary. I met someone once who said that they intensely disliked what Lawrence was trying to say but admired Larence's novels as great literature. With me it is exactly the opposite. I strongly appr [...]

    10. D.H. Lawrence was one of the first who has begun to write openly about the awakening of sexual consciousness.“So they were together in a darkness, passionate, electric, for ever haunting the back of the common day, never in the light. In the light, he seemed to sleep, unknowing. Only she knew him when the darkness set him free, and he could see with his gold-glowing eyes his intention and his desires in the dark. Then she was in a spell, then she answered his harsh, penetrating call with a sof [...]

    11. My actual review is here. It’s a brief, emotional response, rather than a traditional review. What follows below is just a collection of quotes, grouped loosely by theme, plus a (very) few comments about the change of tone at the end (not spoilers, as the events I’ve alluded to are made plain in the book’s Introduction).As 2014 crossed into 2015, I was reading Stoner for the first - and second - time.As 2015 crossed into 2016, I was reading Lawrence for the first time in so long it might h [...]

    12. Wow! What can I say about D.H. Lawrence? I finished this book on the train from Montreal to New York and I think it left a greater impression upon me than my entire trip. The first chapter is tremendous. The next couple of hundred pages was difficult for me to read--a testiment to the impossibility of ever really connecting with someone you love. Lawrence is an amazing writer, despite the reputation. It was an interesting experience reading this after Women in Love and knowing what was in store [...]

    13. Lawrence is a tough read. One chews through the pages of his books - sometimes with vigour and often with bafflement. While he is hard to read, he is even harder to write about. Yet, despite the thick language and often threadbare plot, there is a sense of exhilaration in The Rainbow. Underneath all of the claustrophobic intensity are strands of genius and genuine food for thought.The language of The Rainbow is at once alien and alluring. To fully appreciate Lawrence I really think a reader must [...]

    14. The fecund fecundity of Lawrence's fecund verbosity is enough to drive anyone to distraction. Paragraphs upon paragraphs describing a sunrise (or was it a sunset? I forget) apparently is the moment two protagonists make love in a field. You need the notes to tell you that. So much for the man who wrote the infamous 'Lady Chatterly'.Almost as tedious a read as George Eliot.

    15. D.H. Lawrence writes in the naturalist style but with a sensuousness that is unique. His prose is superb and he writes of despair but with enough hope so his books are not depressing. I would describe his work in the Rainbow and elsewhere as somewhere between an Emile Zola and John Steinbeck. Lawrence may write with more symbolism and intimacy but perhaps with less of the storytelling genius of a Steinbeck or the compassion of a Zola.The Rainbow tells of several generations of the Brangwen famil [...]

    16. “Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,Stains the white radiance of Eternity” -Shelley's "Adonais"The world, transfigured by Lawrence's work, here and in "Women in Love," appears as "a dome of many-coloured glass," only the "radiance" disappears from Eternity. The central epiphany that seems to structure Lawrence's work is the recognition of Eternity as a primordial womb of darkness containing all things. The world we experience is, then, a bubble of darkness on the surface of which play [...]

    17. I sort of had the idea that I'd read The Rainbow during my culture-vulture phase as a student, so it was rather a pleasant surprise to realise I hadn't. I think D.H.Lawrence still has a status in the general public perception as a bit of a smut-monger; he is considered rather un-English in his liberal approach to sex and will forever be associated with the Lady Chatterley trial. I must say that the book covers and TV/film adaptations don't help!However there could never be anything more English [...]

    18. i love this book -- a seminal favorite! so organic initially in it's portrayal of people, the earth, and relationships and then there is this evolution of these creations as the generations pass -- new ideas, new freedom in their world, leading to stronger selves. i just love the thoughts on having children -- d.h. never had children and he's a man, nevertheless his insights into a woman's experience are so word perfect! here are some of my favorite snippets: first, a short one:"There was life o [...]

    19. D. H. Lawrence bores me to tears. It's unfair, I know. He suffered a lot for his art. He contributed greatly to modern literature. He dabbled in taboos, such as women liking sex and not necessarily marriage. He wrote about same sex relationships. But he's just so darned redundant that I always want to hurl the book across the room before I fall into another Lawrence-induced-sleep-stupor. (Someone really needed to give the man a thesaurus. Honestly, I never want to see the word "fecund" again in [...]

    20. Surprisingly evocative, sensistive and rich. I know more about D.H. Lawrence as a person and a thinker than I do his prose, but I've had this book kicking around forever and I decided to knock it down for good. I come to the text with all kinds of feminist apprehension. I've heard for years the critique that Lawrence is chauvinistic, sex-obsessed, mysoginistic and misanthropic and makes too much of a precious mysticism out of male-female relations, if not strictly abased in aw-shucks reverence f [...]

    21. This is a novel, and a reading experience, unlike any other. While the novel may be a bit sprawling and unclear in its arc, in its lyrical prose and its gripping emotionality, it is unparalleled. Lawrence tells the tale of one family, across three generations. Lawrence's usual backdrop of the power and soul-rending ugliness of industrialized England is present, as is a natural sense of class culture and English identity. Yet all of this fades to the background as the smooth rhythm of Lawrence's [...]

    22. "He seemed to live with a strain upon himself, and occasionally came these dark, chaotic rages, the lust for destruction," Lawrence writes, half-way through this story. Then Lawrence brings a child, Ursula, into "consciousness" and this novel soars with hope to the heavens. "The Rainbow" is a real beauty in the world of literature.

    23. It's been decades since ive read anything by Lawrence and I'm not sure how I feel about his The Rainbow. I kept debating how I felt about his prose, at times I was astounded but the lushness of it but after a passage went on I began to feel like it was overwrought but the next sentence or paragraph I'd begin to hear the beauty again.And then there's the content of The Rainbow which could be described as dated but in many ways the issues of a woman's right to independence seems very relevant. I s [...]

    24. THE RAINBOW. (1915). D(David) H(Herbert) Lawrence. **. I remember that this was one of the assigned novels for my class in English Lit. back during my college days. I also remember skimming the last four-hundred pages or so. Now that I am much older and, supposedly, more mature and knowledgeable, I thought I’d give this book another go. So much for added maturity and knowledge. The urge to skim again was hard upon me, but I had a purpose! This is not a novel in the modern sense of the word. To [...]

    25. The setting of this novel was the rural midlands of England sometime in the early 1900's (this was first published in 1915). It startles as D.H. Lawrence, through its characters, presented some bold, provocative ideas here about religion, lesbianism, pre-/extra-marital sex, the social classes and women's independence. He was far ahead of his time and this book, upon its publication, was suppressed.The story spanned three generations of the Brangwen family but the author opted to speak mostly thr [...]

    26. And the rainbow stood on the earth.Once, Lawrence was a king. He was important. Even in the 1970s, he remained a regular on Literature curriculums. Then, gradually, his grip loosened. His fingers tired from hanging on to the ledge, or they were plucked, one by one, by some grinning creature. Apart from the odd film adaption of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, he was let go. He fell. And, judging by many of the reviews here, ’twas a good thing to Maybe now that beards are back, perhaps ? Alas, no, t [...]

    27. After all these years, I've finally read this thing. He's one of those over the top emotive gushers whose style uses at least 100 different words when 30 more average ones would do to say the same thing. But the literature majors love that, and him.He understands obsession, sexual desire, emotive averse reactions and lots of psychology spites of family. All of them feature large here in this family saga of 3 generations.I find this kind of prose so tedious that I can only do about 40 or 50 pages [...]

    28. Finally managed to finish the book after maybe four months of slow-as-hell-reading!It's kind of hard to describe this book. The most immediate genre that comes to mind is a coming-of-age novel, or as I like to call it, a "life novel," with the characters being presented to us first as children and later on as adults as the book progresses. The novel doesn't do this once, but three times, showing three generations of the Brangwen family, the subject of the book.We see Tom Brangwen Senior stumble [...]

    29. Only half-way through so only superficial observations so far:Women are unexpectedly 3-dimensional. Since I've read feminists have problems with Lawrence, I'm surprised that the women are so fleshed-out and imperfect (human). Male characters may objectify women but Lawrence presents females as emotional/intellectual equals and even superior/more complicated in many instances. As another review mentioned, he def tells more than shows which is fine, but not my preference. The psychology of some of [...]

    30. 2½ stars for the audiobook edition narrated by Paul Slack. I didn't care for this book but if you like D.H. Lawrence, you probably would like this. His writing style & main themes irritate me so my main feeling on finishing this is relief that I am done. The characters don't seem like any people I have ever met & Lawrence has some strange ideas about sex & womenFor me, the most interesting parts were when Ursula Brangwen is working as a school teacher (without any kind of training!) [...]

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