The story of Lady Chatterley and her love for her husband's gamekeeper outraged the sensibilities of Edwardian England. Lawrence had already been dismissed as a purveyor of the obscene for the attitudes to sex that he had shown in The Rainbow, which had been fiercely suppressed on its publication in 1915. Chatterley, written in several versions around 1928 in Italy in the final part of Lawrence's life, was a deliberate choice on the author's part to address sex head on, describe the act and its pleasures in detail and put forward his belief that mankind had lost touch with its pagan and natural roots, its link to the earth and therefore its strength.
Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned from publication in Britain until 1960, when the radical new publishing house Penguin Books brought out a paperback edition and was immediately taken to court for obscenity. The trial that followed became one of the marking posts for the '60s' 'revolution', with arguments for the beauty of Lawrence's descriptions of love and sex finally conquering the prudish sensibilities that Lawrence so despised and leading to a landmark legal ruling in Penguin's favour. For all the campaigning and crusading that has accompanied Lady Chatterley's Lover, it remains in essence a beautiful description of a true and lasting passion.
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