Course 9—Reading

The Horse Dealer's Daughter
by D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)


In Brief
course9-book After their horse-dealer father's death, Mabel and her three brothers find themselves adrift in the world. The brothers announce vague plans, but Mabel maintains stony silence. Jack Fergusson, the young village doctor, stops in for a visit, and the attraction between Mabel and Jack is palpable but unacknowledged. This story is packed with powerful symbolic and archetypal imagery, a particular trait of Lawrence's writing. Be on the lookout for well-known folktale motifs. Read the selection (at Literature.org).

About the Author
A wildly controversial writer during his time—The Rainbow (1915) and Lady Chatterley's Lover (1944) were both banned due to obscenity—Lawrence, today, is admired for his broad body of work. He wrote poetry, criticism, essays, drama, short stories, as well as 13 novels. The charges of obscenity seem almost quaint in our era, but Lawrence's frank writing about sexuality reflected his belief that only when stripped (so to speak) of the outward trappings of class and society could men and women achieve true authenticity and intimacy. Lady Chatterley is perhaps the most vivid expression of that belief. Other well known works include Women in Love (1920; movie in 1969) and his semi-autobiographical novel, Sons and Lovers (1913; movie in 1960).

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