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Literature: Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover is an 1928 novel by D. H. Lawrence, about a young married woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley) whose upper-class husband has been paralyzed and rendered impotent. With his blessing, she starts an affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors.

Due to its graphic sexual content, the novel created a great deal of controversy. In several countries, it was banned or heavily censored. The free release of Lady Chatterley's Lover was considered to be an important milestone of the sexual revolution of The Sixties. By today's standards, it's fairly tame, of course. The book has been adapted several times into film versions, most recently in 2006. Danielle Darrieux played Connie in the 1955 version, Sylvia Kristel in 1981, Joely Richardson in 1993 (opposite Sean Bean as Oliver Mellors) and Marina Hands in 2006.


Lady Chatterley's Lover provides examples of:

  • Ass Shove: Mellors gives Connie one of these, although it's couched in such psychological language that the jury at the book's 1960 obscenity trial didn't realise it until the counsel for the prosecution pointed it out to them.
  • Blueblood: The Chatterley family.
  • Cheating With The Milk Man: Or, in this case, the gamekeeper
  • Forgotten Trope: Mellors the gamekeeper was an officer in the war. The British army comissioned a lot of officers from outside the traditional officer class in World War One, but when the war ended most of these men had to return to their former stations in life. The former officer was a common character in post-war fiction, but most of the novels have now been forgotten.
  • Funetik Aksent: Mellors' Derbyshire accent is rendered phonetically; some readers find it difficult to understand, and others find it can detract from the drama.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: One reason Lady Chatterley seeks a new lover: her husband is impotent due to an injury sustained in World War One. He gives her his blessing to find another lover, although he doesn't want to hear about it.
  • Rags to Riches: Connie starts off from a working-class background, and marries Lord Chatterley, but she is not happy.
  • Relationship Ceiling: Lord and Lady Chatterley have hit this, which is the real reason she seeks a new lover (even more than her husband's impotence.)
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • Tsundere: Bertha Coutts. The reason why Oliver is cheating on her with Connie.
  • Uptown Girl: This is the major source of dramatic conflict, where the well-bred lady of the gentry takes up with the gamekeeper. Played with and doubled in that she was a Rags to Riches story herself, having been working-class before marrying her rich husband Lord Chatterley.

Alternative Title(s):

Lady Chatterleys Lover