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Women in Love is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence published in 1920.

It is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and 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 a homoerotic attraction between Gerald and Rupert. The novel ranges over the whole of British society at the time of the First World War and eventually ends high up in the snows of the Swiss Alps. As with most of Lawrence's works, Women in Love caused controversy over its sexual subject matter. One early reviewer said of it, "I do not claim to be a literary critic, but I know dirt when I smell it, and here is dirt in heaps festering, putrid heaps which smell to high Heaven."[1]

Plot summary
Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen are two sisters living in the Midlands of England in the 1910s. Ursula is a teacher, Gudrun an artist. They meet two men who live nearby, school inspector Rupert Birkin and coal-mine heir Gerald Crich. The four become friends. Ursula and Birkin become involved, and Gudrun eventually begins a love affair with Gerald. All four are deeply concerned with questions of society, politics, and the relationship between men and women. At a party at Gerald's estate, Gerald's sister, Diana, drowns with her new husband. Gudrun becomes the teacher and mentor of his youngest sister. Soon Gerald's coal-mine-owning father dies as well, after a long illness. After the funeral, Gerald goes to Gudrun's house and spends the night with her, while her parents sleep in another room. Birkin asks Ursula to marry him, and she agrees. Gerald and Gudrun's relationship, however, becomes stormy. The four vacation in the Alps. Gudrun begins an intense friendship with Loerke, a physically puny but emotionally commanding artist from Dresden. Gerald, enraged by Loerke, by Gudrun's verbal abuse, and by his own destructive nature, tries to murder Gudrun. After failing, he retreats back over the mountains and falls to his death in the snow.

Women in Love was originally published in New York City as a limited edition, available only to subscribers; this was due to the controversy caused by his previous work, The Rainbow. Originally, the two books were written as parts of a single novel. The publisher had decided to publish them separately and in rapid succession. The first book's treatment of sexuality, while tame by 21st Century standards, was rather too frank for the Edwardian era. There was an obscenity trial and The Rainbow was banned in the U.K. for

11 years, although it was available in the U.S. The publisher then backed out of publishing the second book in the U.K., so it first appeared in the U.S.
Women in Love is widely regarded as D. H. Lawrence's greatest novel. It is a continuation of The Rainbow (1915), both novels originally having been intended as one novel, The Sisters, though in final form each work is self-contained. After difficulties in finding a publisher, understandable as The Rainbow had been prosecuted for obscenity, Women in Love was eventually privately published in New York in 1920 and in London in 1921. It is clear that both The Rainbow and Women in Love are major departures from the main tradition of the English novel with its emphasis on a realistic presentation of both character and environment. Lawrence's use of a heightened and more expressive prose than conventionally found in fiction led some of the first reviewers, such as Rebecca West in a review of Women in Love, to believe that Lawrence was more of a poet than a novelist, so that his work was often judged in relation to criteria that arguably were not appropriate for an innovative novel like Women in Love which undermines conventional distinctions between realism and symbolism, poetry and prose. The novel continues where The Rainbow left off with the third generation of Brangwens: Ursula Brangwen, now a teacher at Beldover, a mining town in the Midlands, and her sister Gudrun, who has returned from art school in London. The focus of the novel is primarily on their relationships, Ursula's with Rupert Birkin, a school inspector, though he gives that up, and Gudrun's with Gerald Crich, an industrialist, and later with a sculptor, Loerke. The novel opens with both Ursula and Gudrun, having declared that marriage is intolerable, attending the wedding of the sister of Gerald Crich, where they meet Crich, Rupert Birkin, and Birkin's mistress Hermione Roddice. Gradually Gerald and Gudrun, and Ursula and Birkin, are drawn towards each other. Birkin's relationship with Hermione ends after a violent scene. Gerald's father, Walter, is dying and Gerald has taken over management of the mines from him, exerting control with ruthless efficiency, but after the trauma of his father's death he visits Gudrun in a weakened state and they at last make love, but she gains an ascendancy over him. Birkin's offer of a form of blood-brotherhood is rejected by Gerald. Ursula and Birkin marry and together with Gerald and Gudrun they visit the Austrian Alps where they meet the nihilistic sculptor, Loerke, a man with a homosexual past. The relationship between Ursula and Birkin becomes more intense and fulfilling, and they decide to go south to Italy. Gerald's relationship with Gudrun becomes increasingly destructive. Possessed by intense jealousy of Loerke, which leads to an attempt to kill Gudrun, he commits suicide in the snow. Gudrun leaves with Loerke for Dresden. Though Ursula and Birkin's relationship has a positive outcome the novel ends with an unresolved disagreement between them as (nu e tot)