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Free download of Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence. Available in PDF, ePub and Kindle. Read, write reviews and more. Title, Author, free ebooks, ebook, etext. Title: Lady Chatterley's Lover Author: D H Lawrence * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No. .. Sir Geoffrey, Clifford's father, was intensely ridiculous, chopping down his trees, and . Download Lady Chatterley's Lover free in PDF & EPUB format. Download D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover for your kindle, tablet, IPAD.
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They were cut off from those industrial Midlands in which they passed their lives. And they were cut off from their own class by the brooding, obstinate, shut-up nature of Sir Geoffrey, their father, whom they ridiculed, but whom they were so sensitive about. The three had said they would all live together always. But now Herbert was dead, and Sir Geoffrey wanted Clifford to marry.
Sir Geoffrey barely mentioned it: But his silent, brooding insistence that it should be so was hard for Clifford to bear up against.
But Emma said No! She was ten years older than Clifford, and she felt his marrying would be a desertion and a betrayal of what the young ones of the family had stood for. Clifford married Connie, nevertheless, and had his month's honeymoon with her. It was the terrible year , and they were intimate as two people who stand together on a sinking ship. He had been virgin when he married: They were so close, he and she, apart from that. And Connie exulted a little in this intimacy which was beyond sex, and beyond a man's 'satisfaction'.
Clifford anyhow was not just keen on his 'satisfaction', as so many men seemed to be. No, the intimacy was deeper, more personal than that. And sex was merely an accident, or an adjunct, one of the curious obsolete, organic processes which persisted in its own clumsiness, but was not really necessary. Though Connie did want children: But early in Clifford was shipped home smashed, and there was no child. And Sir Geoffrey died of chagrin. Connie and Clifford came home to Wragby in the autumn of Miss Chatterley, still disgusted at her brother's defection, had departed and was living in a little flat in London.
Wragby was a long low old house in brown stone, begun about the middle of the eighteenth century, and added on to, till it was a warren of a place without much distinction. It stood on an eminence in a rather fine old park of oak trees, but alas, one could see in the near distance the chimney of Tevershall pit, with its clouds of steam and smoke, and on the damp, hazy distance of the hill the raw straggle of Tevershall village, a village which began almost at the park gates, and trailed in utter hopeless ugliness for a long and gruesome mile: Connie was accustomed to Kensington or the Scotch hills or the Sussex downs: With the stoicism of the young she took in the utter, soulless ugliness of the coal-and-iron Midlands at a glance, and left it at what it was: From the rather dismal rooms at Wragby she heard the rattle-rattle of the screens at the pit, the puff of the winding-engine, the clink-clink of shunting trucks, and the hoarse little whistle of the colliery locomotives.
Tevershall pit-bank was burning, had been burning for years, and it would cost thousands to put it out. So it had to burn. And when the wind was that way, which was often, the house was full of the stench of this sulphurous combustion of the earth's excrement.
But even on windless days the air always smelt of something under-earth: And even on the Christmas roses the smuts settled persistently, incredible, like black manna from the skies of doom. Well, there it was: It was rather awful, but why kick? You couldn't kick it away. It just went on.
Life, like all the rest! On the low dark ceiling of cloud at night red blotches burned and quavered, dappling and swelling and contracting, like burns that give pain. It was the furnaces.
At first they fascinated Connie with a sort of horror; she felt she was living underground. Then she got used to them. And in the morning it rained. Clifford professed to like Wragby better than London. This country had a grim will of its own, and the people had guts.
Connie wondered what else they had: The people were as haggard, shapeless, and dreary as the countryside, and as unfriendly. Only there was something in their deep-mouthed slurring of the dialect, and the thresh-thresh of their hob-nailed pit-boots as they trailed home in gangs on the asphalt from work, that was terrible and a bit mysterious. There had been no welcome home for the young squire, no festivities, no deputation, not even a single flower.
Only a dank ride in a motor-car up a dark, damp drive, burrowing through gloomy trees, out to the slope of the park where grey damp sheep were feeding, to the knoll where the house spread its dark brown facade, and the housekeeper and her husband were hovering, like unsure tenants on the face of the earth, ready to stammer a welcome. There was no communication between Wragby Hall and Tevershall village, none.
No caps were touched, no curtseys bobbed. The colliers merely stared; the tradesmen lifted their caps to Connie as to an acquaintance, and nodded awkwardly to Clifford; that was all. Gulf impassable, and a quiet sort of resentment on either side. At first Connie suffered from the steady drizzle of resentment that came from the village.
Then she hardened herself to it, and it became a sort of tonic, something to live up to. It was not that she and Clifford were unpopular, they merely belonged to another species altogether from the colliers.
Gulf impassable, breach indescribable, such as is perhaps nonexistent south of the Trent. But in the Midlands and the industrial North gulf impassable, across which no communication could take place. You stick to your side, I'll stick to mine! A strange denial of the common pulse of humanity.
Yet the village sympathized with Clifford and Connie in the abstract. In the flesh it was--You leave me alone! The rector was a nice man of about sixty, full of his duty, and reduced, personally, almost to a nonentity by the silent--You leave me alone! The miners' wives were nearly all Methodists. The miners were nothing. But even so much official uniform as the clergyman wore was enough to obscure entirely the fact that he was a man like any other man. No, he was Mester Ashby, a sort of automatic preaching and praying concern.
This stubborn, instinctive--We think ourselves as good as you, if you are Lady Chatterley! The curious, suspicious, false amiability with which the miners' wives met her overtures; the curiously offensive tinge of--Oh dear me! I am somebody now, with Lady Chatterley talking to me!
But she needn't think I'm not as good as her for all that! There was no getting past it. It was hopelessly and offensively nonconformist.
Clifford left them alone, and she learnt to do the same: When he had to deal with them, Clifford was rather haughty and contemptuous; one could no longer afford to be friendly. In fact he was altogether rather supercilious and contemptuous of anyone not in his own class. He stood his ground, without any attempt at conciliation.
And he was neither liked nor disliked by the people: But Clifford was really extremely shy and self-conscious now he was lamed. He hated seeing anyone except just the personal servants. For he had to sit in a wheeled chair or a sort of bath-chair. Nevertheless he was just as carefully dressed as ever, by his expensive tailors, and he wore the careful Bond Street neckties just as before, and from the top he looked just as smart and impressive as ever.
He had never been one of the modern ladylike young men: But his very quiet, hesitating voice, and his eyes, at the same time bold and frightened, assured and uncertain, revealed his nature.
His manner was often offensively supercilious, and then again modest and self-effacing, almost tremulous. Connie and he were attached to one another, in the aloof modern way.
He was much too hurt in himself, the great shock of his maiming, to be easy and flippant. He was a hurt thing. And as such Connie stuck to him passionately. But she could not help feeling how little connexion he really had with people. The miners were, in a sense, his own men; but he saw them as objects rather than men, parts of the pit rather than parts of life, crude raw phenomena rather than human beings along with him.
He was in some way afraid of them, he could not bear to have them look at him now he was lame. And their queer, crude life seemed as unnatural as that of hedgehogs. He was remotely interested; but like a man looking down a microscope, or up a telescope.
He was not in touch. He was not in actual touch with anybody, save, traditionally, with Wragby, and, through the close bond of family defence, with Emma. Beyond this nothing really touched him. Connie felt that she herself didn't really, not really touch him; perhaps there was nothing to get at ultimately; just a negation of human contact. Yet he was absolutely dependent on her, he needed her every moment.
Big and strong as he was, he was helpless. He could wheel himself about in a wheeled chair, and he had a sort of bath-chair with a motor attachment, in which he could puff slowly round the park. But alone he was like a lost thing. He needed Connie to be there, to assure him he existed at all. Still he was ambitious. He had taken to writing stories; curious, very personal stories about people he had known. Clever, rather spiteful, and yet, in some mysterious way, meaningless.
The observation was extraordinary and peculiar. But there was no touch, no actual contact. It was as if the whole thing took place in a vacuum. And since the field of life is largely an artificially-lighted stage today, the stories were curiously true to modern life, to the modern psychology, that is.
Clifford was almost morbidly sensitive about these stories. He wanted everyone to think them good, of the best, ne plus ultra. They appeared in the most modern magazines, and were praised and blamed as usual.
But to Clifford the blame was torture, like knives goading him. It was as if the whole of his being were in his stories. Connie helped him as much as she could. At first she was thrilled. He talked everything over with her monotonously, insistently, persistently, and she had to respond with all her might. It was as if her whole soul and body and sex had to rouse up and pass into theme stories of his. This thrilled her and absorbed her. Of physical life they lived very little.
She had to superintend the house. But the housekeeper had served Sir Geoffrey for many years, and the dried-up, elderly, superlatively correct female you could hardly call her a parlour-maid, or even a woman Even the very housemaids were no longer young.
It was awful! What could you do with such a place, but leave it alone! All these endless rooms that nobody used, all the Midlands routine, the mechanical cleanliness and the mechanical order!
Clifford had insisted on a new cook, an experienced woman who had served him in his rooms in London. For the rest the place seemed run by mechanical anarchy. Everything went on in pretty good order, strict cleanliness, and strict punctuality; even pretty strict honesty. And yet, to Connie, it was a methodical anarchy. No warmth of feeling united it organically. The house seemed as dreary as a disused street. What could she do but leave it alone?
So she left it alone. Miss Chatterley came sometimes, with her aristocratic thin face, and triumphed, finding nothing altered. She would never forgive Connie for ousting her from her union in consciousness with her brother.
It was she, Emma, who should be bringing forth the stories, these books, with him; the Chatterley stories, something new in the world, that they , the Chatterleys, had put there. There was no other standard. There was no organic connexion with the thought and expression that had gone before. Only something new in the world: Connie's father, where he paid a flying visit to Wragby, and in private to his daughter: As for Clifford's writing, it's smart, but there's nothing in it.
It won't last! Connie looked at the burly Scottish knight who had done himself well all his life, and her eyes, her big, still-wondering blue eyes became vague. Nothing in it! What did he mean by nothing in it? If the critics praised it, and Clifford's name was almost famous, and it even brought in money What else could there be?
For Connie had adopted the standard of the young: And moments followed one another without necessarily belonging to one another. It was in her second winter at Wragby her father said to her: To Clifford he said the same, when the two men were alone: It's not her style. She's not the pilchard sort of little slip of a girl, she's a bonny Scotch trout. He wanted to say something later to Connie about the demi-vierge business But he could not bring himself to do it.
He was at once too intimate with her and not intimate enough. He was so very much at one with her, in his mind and hers, but bodily they were non-existent to one another, and neither could bear to drag in the corpus delicti. They were so intimate, and utterly out of touch. Connie guessed, however, that her father had said something, and that something was in Clifford's mind. She knew that he didn't mind whether she were demi-vierge or demi-monde, so long as he didn't absolutely know, and wasn't made to see.
What the eye doesn't see and the mind doesn't know, doesn't exist. Connie and Clifford had now been nearly two years at Wragby, living their vague life of absorption in Clifford and his work. Their interests had never ceased to flow together over his work. They talked and wrestled in the throes of composition, and felt as if something were happening, really happening, really in the void. And thus far it was a life: For the rest it was non-existence.
Wragby was there, the servants Connie went for walks in the park, and in the woods that joined the park, and enjoyed the solitude and the mystery, kicking the brown leaves of autumn, and picking the primroses of spring.
But it was all a dream; or rather it was like the simulacrum of reality. The oak-leaves were to her like oak-leaves seen ruffling in a mirror, she herself was a figure somebody had read about, picking primroses that were only shadows or memories, or words.
No substance to her or anything Only this life with Clifford, this endless spinning of webs of yarn, of the minutiae of consciousness, these stories Sir Malcolm said there was nothing in, and they wouldn't last. Why should there be anything in them, why should they last? Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Sufficient unto the moment is the appearance of reality. Clifford had quite a number of friends, acquaintances really, and he invited them to Wragby.
He invited all sorts of people, critics and writers, people who would help to praise his books. And they were flattered at being asked to Wragby, and they praised. Connie understood it all perfectly.
But why not? This was one of the fleeting patterns in the mirror. What was wrong with it? She was hostess to these people She was hostess also to Clifford's occasional aristocratic relations. Being a soft, ruddy, country-looking girl, inclined to freckles, with big blue eyes, and curling, brown hair, and a soft voice, and rather strong, female loins she was considered a little old-fashioned and 'womanly'.
She was not a 'little pilchard sort of fish', like a boy, with a boy's flat breast and little buttocks. She was too feminine to be quite smart.
So the men, especially those no longer young, were very nice to her indeed. But, knowing what torture poor Clifford would feel at the slightest sign of flirting on her part, she gave them no encouragement at all. She was quiet and vague, she had no contact with them and intended to have none. Clifford was extraordinarily proud of himself.
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His relatives treated her quite kindly. She knew that the kindliness indicated a lack of fear, and that these people had no respect for you unless you could frighten them a little. But again she had no contact. She let them be kindly and disdainful, she let them feel they had no need to draw their steel in readiness. She had no real connexion with them. Time went on. Whatever happened, nothing happened, because she was so beautifully out of contact. She and Clifford lived in their ideas and his books.
She entertained Time went on as the clock does, half past eight instead of half past seven. Connie was aware, however, of a growing restlessness. Out of her disconnexion, a restlessness was taking possession of her like madness. It twitched her limbs when she didn't want to twitch them, it jerked her spine when she didn't want to jerk upright but preferred to rest comfortably.
It thrilled inside her body, in her womb, somewhere, till she felt she must jump into water and swim to get away from it; a mad restlessness. It made her heart beat violently for no reason. And she was getting thinner. It was just restlessness. She would rush off across the park, abandon Clifford, and lie prone in the bracken. To get away from the house The work was her one refuge, her sanctuary. But it was not really a refuge, a sanctuary, because she had no connexion with it.
It was only a place where she could get away from the rest. She never really touched the spirit of the wood itself Vaguely she knew herself that she was going to pieces in some way. Vaguely she knew she was out of connexion: Only Clifford and his books, which did not exist Void to void.
Vaguely she knew. But it was like beating her head against a stone. Her father warned her again: Do you all the good in the world. That winter Michaelis came for a few days. He was a young Irishman who had already made a large fortune by his plays in America. He had been taken up quite enthusiastically for a time by smart society in London, for he wrote smart society plays. Then gradually smart society realized that it had been made ridiculous at the hands of a down-at-heel Dublin street-rat, and revulsion came.
Michaelis was the last word in what was caddish and bounderish. He was discovered to be anti-English, and to the class that made this discovery this was worse than the dirtiest crime.
He was cut dead, and his corpse thrown into the refuse can. Nevertheless Michaelis had his apartment in Mayfair, and walked down Bond Street the image of a gentleman, for you cannot get even the best tailors to cut their low-down customers, when the customers pay. Clifford was inviting the young man of thirty at an inauspicious moment in that young man's career.
Yet Clifford did not hesitate.
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Michaelis had the ear of a few million people, probably; and, being a hopeless outsider, he would no doubt be grateful to be asked down to Wragby at this juncture, when the rest of the smart world was cutting him. Being grateful, he would no doubt do Clifford 'good' over there in America. A man gets a lot of kudos, whatever that may be, by being talked about in the right way, especially 'over there'.
Clifford was a coming man; and it was remarkable what a sound publicity instinct he had. In the end Michaelis did him most nobly in a play, and Clifford was a sort of popular hero. Till the reaction, when he found he had been made ridiculous. Connie wondered a little over Clifford's blind, imperious instinct to become known: Connie was aware from successful, old, hearty, bluffing Sir Malcolm, that artists did advertise themselves, and exert themselves to put their goods over.
But her father used channels ready-made, used by all the other R. Whereas Clifford discovered new channels of publicity, all kinds. He had all kinds of people at Wragby, without exactly lowering himself.
But, determined to build himself a monument of a reputation quickly, he used any handy rubble in the making. Michaelis arrived duly, in a very neat car, with a chauffeur and a manservant.
He was absolutely Bond Street!
But at sight of him something in Clifford's county soul recoiled. He wasn't exactly To Clifford this was final and enough. Yet he was very polite to the man; to the amazing success in him. The bitch-goddess, as she is called, of Success, roamed, snarling and protective, round the half-humble, half-defiant Michaelis' heels, and intimidated Clifford completely: Michaelis obviously wasn't an Englishman, in spite of all the tailors, hatters, barbers, booters of the very best quarter of London.
No, no, he obviously wasn't an Englishman: He had a grudge and a grievance: Poor Michaelis had been much kicked, so that he had a slightly tail-between-the-legs look even now.
He had pushed his way by sheer instinct and sheerer effrontery on to the stage and to the front of it, with his plays. He had caught the public. And he had thought the kicking days were over.
Alas, they weren't They never would be. For he, in a sense, asked to be kicked. He pined to be where he didn't belong And how they enjoyed the various kicks they got at him! And how he hated them! There was something about him that Connie liked. He didn't put on airs to himself, he had no illusions about himself. He talked to Clifford sensibly, briefly, practically, about all the things Clifford wanted to know. He didn't expand or let himself go. He knew he had been asked down to Wragby to be made use of, and like an old, shrewd, almost indifferent business man, or big-business man, he let himself be asked questions, and he answered with as little waste of feeling as possible.
It's a sort of property of nature in a man to make money. It's nothing you do. It's no trick you play. It's a sort of permanent accident of your own nature; once you start, you make money, and you go on; up to a point, I suppose. You've got to get in. You can do nothing if you are kept outside. You've got to beat your way in.
Once you've done that, you can't help it. I may be a good writer or I may be a bad one, but a writer and a writer of plays is what I am, and I've got to be.
There's no question of that. There's nothing in popularity. There's nothing in the public, if it comes to that. There's nothing really in my plays to make them popular. It's not that. They just are like the weather He turned his slow, rather full eyes, that had been drowned in such fathomless disillusion, on Connie, and she trembled a little. He seemed so old An outcast, in a certain sense; but with the desperate bravery of his rat-like existence.
Do I live alone? I've got my servant. He's a Greek, so he says, and quite incompetent. But I keep him. And I'm going to marry. Oh, yes, I must marry.
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He looked at her admiringly. I find I find I can't marry an Englishwoman, not even an Irishwoman Connie really wondered at this queer, melancholy specimen of extraordinary success; it was said he had an income of fifty thousand dollars from America alone. Sometimes he was handsome: Aeons of acquiescence in race destiny, instead of our individual resistance.
And then a swimming through, like rats in a dark river. Connie felt a sudden, strange leap of sympathy for him, a leap mingled with compassion, and tinged with repulsion, amounting almost to love. The outsider! And they called him a bounder! How much more bounderish and assertive Clifford looked! How much stupider! Michaelis knew at once he had made an impression on her.
He turned his full, hazel, slightly prominent eyes on her in a look of pure detachment. He was estimating her, and the extent of the impression he had made. With the English nothing could save him from being the eternal outsider, not even love. Yet women sometimes fell for him Englishwomen too. He knew just where he was with Clifford. They were two alien dogs which would have liked to snarl at one another, but which smiled instead, perforce.
But with the woman he was not quite so sure. Breakfast was served in the bedrooms; Clifford never appeared before lunch, and the dining-room was a little dreary. After coffee Michaelis, restless and ill-sitting soul, wondered what he should do. It was a fine November day He looked over the melancholy park. My God! What a place! He sent a servant to ask, could he be of any service to Lady Chatterley: The answer came, would he care to go up to Lady Chatterley's sitting-room.
Connie had a sitting-room on the third floor, the top floor of the central portion of the house. Clifford's rooms were on the ground floor, of course.
Michaelis was flattered by being asked up to Lady Chatterley's own parlour. He followed blindly after the servant In her room he did glance vaguely round at the fine German reproductions of Renoir and Cezanne. Her room was the only gay, modern one in the house, the only spot in Wragby where her personality was at all revealed.
Clifford had never seen it, and she asked very few people up.
Lady Chatterly’s Lover
Now she and Michaelis sit on opposite sides of the fire and talked. She asked him about himself, his mother and father, his brothers Michaelis talked frankly about himself, quite frankly, without affectation, simply revealing his bitter, indifferent, stray-dog's soul, then showing a gleam of revengeful pride in his success.
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Connect your Kindle device with your computer using a USB cable. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen. Frankenstein Mary Shelley. Great Expectations Charles Dickens. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy.
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad.
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