The Rainbow - D. H. Lawrence

The Rainbow

Author: D. H. Lawrence

  • Publication Date: 2015-11-15
  • Category: Classics


D. H. Lawrence’s 1915 novel ‘The Rainbow’ is about the emotional life and loves of three generations of the Brangwen family, farmers and craftsmen of Nottinghamshire, Lawrence’s childhood home. Tom Brangwen, a farm youth, marries Lydia Lensky, a Polish widow of a political exile. Anna, Lydia’s daughter by her first marriage, grows up as Tom’s own child and marries her cousin, Will Brangwen, a strong-willed, morose man with a passion for wood carving. 

Most of the novel is about Ursula, daughter of Anna and Will. A sensitive, high-spirited rebel, she escapes from her confining environment, as Lawrence himself did, by going to college and becoming a teacher. Her emotional life consists of a love affair with Anton Skrebensky, a Polish exile and officer in the British army, and an intense attraction to Winifred Inger, an older teacher. Winifred, an athletic, intellectual woman and a feminist, marries Ursula’s uncle; Ursula rejects Skrebensky. 

Ursula’s story is continued in ‘Women in Love,’ a sequel. When ‘The Rainbow’ was published it was denounced as obscene and an entire edition was destroyed by court order. 

“One of the 1000 novels everyone must read.” - The Guardian. 

“The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.” - E. M. Forster. 

“The Rainbow follows the turbulent lives and loves of three generations of the Brangwen family of Marsh Farm in Lawrence's native Nottinghamshire . . . like its equally controversial sequel Women in Love, is remembered by most of its readers for the sex. It remains potentially dangerous reading for romantically inclined teenagers.” 
- Lisa Allardice, The Guardian