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text 2017-05-14 20:56
Classics That You Should Read

For those who love to read, there is nothing more difficult than someone asking you to put together a list of your favourite books. After all, no two lists will ever be the same and how can anyone possibly choose, it’s like asking which of your children you love the most…

Similarly, those who love to read fully understand how expensive books can be, particularly in this difficult economic climate. Therefore, I decided to put together a few of my favourite classics, some of which are out of copyright and can be online for free. For out of copyright books, I have added a link where the book can be found for free.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Written by English writer Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre is a classic novel which has been hailed as one of the greatest pieces of English fiction. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Yorkshire Moors, this story follows the coming of age of a plucky young governess who faces a number of great adversaries to find happiness in the arms of her first love.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

First published privately in Italy in 1928 and later the subject of an obscenity trial in the UK. Lady Chatterley's Lover gained notoriety due to its hugely erotic content. Based in Nottinghamshire where DH Lawrence grew up, the story focuses on a young married woman who becomes disenchanted with her upper class husband. When an injury from the war leaves him unable to connect physically and emotionally with Lady Chatterley, she seeks sexual fulfilment in the arms of Oliver Mellor’s, the gamekeeper.

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

Renowned for its warmth and humour, To Kill a Mocking Bird is loosely based on Harper Lee’s observations of friends and family, but carries an important message about the realities of racism in the 1930’s. A classic piece of American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird is widely taught in schools all over the world and addresses themes of rape, racial inequality, courage and compassion. If you haven’t read this book, it’s one to put on your list of ‘must reads’ immediately!

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Not everyone’s favourite book, but a book that has earned its place in history. Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of Anastasia Steel and the ‘emotionally damaged’ billionaire Christian Grey. After a chance meeting, a story of all consuming love begins to unfold. What makes this story stand out, are the BDSM themes and erotic scenes weaved throughout the tale. The book may not have been well received by critics. However, what followed was a sexual revolution that rocked the twenty first century. Sales of sex toys rocketed, BDSM practices which were previously criminalised were normalised and a new age of sexual freedom began.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

HYPERLINK "http://www.literatureproject.com/little-woLittle Women is a timeless tale of four American sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Following their lives from childhood to adulthood, Little Women has been a difficult book to define. Some describe the book as a romance novel, others claim that it is a children’s book. However, for those who have read it, the ongoing themes in this book work together to create an incredible piece of fiction that simply begs to be read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

With over 20 million copies sold, Pride and Prejudice has certainly earned its crown as one of the most popular novels in English Literature. Using good, solid British humour, Pride and Prejudice tells the tale of the Bennet family – the overbearing Mrs Bennet, the long suffering Mr Bennet and their five daughters. Due to the laws of the land at the time, if Mr Bennet passes away the inheritance cannot be passed onto his own children and falls into the hands of a distant relative. With the pressure on to find a suitable marriage, the arrival of a handsome stranger causes rather a few trials and tribulations for the Bennet family.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Believing that he was a failure and his The Great Gatsby forgotten, F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940 with sales of just 20,000 copies. However, due to the glitz, glamour and sheer escapism of this 1920’s tale, The Great Gatsby saw a revival during World War 2 and fast became one of the greatest classics in American history. The story follows characters from a fictional town called West Egg. Featuring millionaires, shady business connections, unrivalled glamour and scandal, The Great Gatsby worked hard to earn the title of one of America’s best loved novels.

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review 2013-09-01 00:00
Lady Chatterleys Lover - D.H. Lawrence Opens with pessimistic neo-spenglerian “ours is essentially a tragic age” (1), and only gets more misanthropically rightwing as it goes.

Perspective is lesser gentry with a “forlorn home” and “inadequate income” (1). There’s no doubt that they’re assholes. Protagonist Ms. Chatterly objects to “the utter, soulless ugliness of the coal-and-iron Midlands” (11). She detected a “gulf impassable” between herself and the village colliers (13)--”a strange denial of the common pulse of humanity.” Naturally, “the miners were nothing” (id.). Her husband, who ran the mine, “saw them as objects rather than men, parts of the pit” (14). Husband “had been through the war, had seen what it meant. But he didn’t really get angry till he saw this bare hill" (47)--i.e., world war is alright, but godsdammit if they cut down my trees.

Dialectic set up very early between erotic management and property management when a pack of aristocrats, as part of a general discussion that develops into irrationalist objections to industrialism and bolshevism (they’re “a perfect description of the whole of the industrialist ideal” (42)), contends on the issue of “the sexual problem” (34). When asked if he would mind another screwing his wife, one gentleman opines “of course I should mind. Sex is a private thing between me and Julia, and of course I should mind anyone else trying to mix in,” for which he is rewarded with the compliment, “you have a strong property instinct” (id.), and “Julia is labeled Mrs. Arnold B. Hammond, just like a trunk on the railway that belongs to somebody” (35). So, uh, yeah.

This conversation is tied into the husband’s horror at denuded property: “one must preserve Old England” (48), and the way to do that is to produce an heir who will take possession of the aristocratic estate and run it like a feudal manor. “We who have this kind of property, and the feeling for it, must preserve it.” Ergo, husband authorizes Ms. Chatterly to “arrange this sex thing, as we arrange going to the dentist” (49)--just so long as “you wouldn’t let the wrong sort of fellow touch you."

Ms. Chatterly, like Ms. Bovary, however, has her own erotic development, and it likely involves the wrong sort of fellow. Unlike Bovary, though, she’s not really rooted in ennui. Rather, her husband came back from the Great War paralyzed. He seems to approve of her liaisons, even to the point of pregnancy, provided she remains in the house as his wife. She reflects on her childhood lover: “she only had to hold herself back in sexual intercourse, and let him finish and expend himself without herself coming to the crisis; and then she could prolong the connection and achieve her orgasm and her crisis while he was merely her tool” (4). For her first marital affair, she became involved with an artist, a “trembling excited sort of lover, whose crisis soon came, and was finished” (31)--but “she soon learnt to hold him, to keep him there inside her when his crisis was over. And there he was generous and curiously potent; he stayed firm inside her, given to her, while she was active…wildly passionately active, coming to her own crisis. And as he felt the frenzy of her achieving her own orgasmic satisfaction from his hard, erect passivity, he had a curious sense of pride” (id.). I for one love that a marxist dialectical term is here deployed by a misanthropic rightwinger to describe orgasms--but, after all, “sex is just another form of talk” (36).

She grows weary of artist, though, because “like so many modern men, he was finished almost before he had begun” and therefore she must bring herself off by her own exertions, which angers dude, who wants her “to go off at the same time as a man” (61).

Anyway, long story short: lots of further denunciation of bolshevists by dumb aristocrats. Ms. Chatterly takes up with a servant of the estate, but it doesn’t work out. At least she doesn’t die, like in Flaubert. Lotsa talking-to-genitals, but maybe not too much. Many of the aristocratic sentiments are well captured by Mannheim’s concepts (see [b:From Karl Mannheim|769563|From Karl Mannheim|Karl Mannheim|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348555087s/769563.jpg|755622]), such as the notion that lord Chatterly is a “conservative anarchist” (214). The sex scenes are a bit tedious, as is the report of local gossip around the village--but the rightwing critique of capitalism is damned interesting, and it is sustained--though in the end I think we are meant to sympathize with the cross-class affair that is presented.

Recommended for lobsters of the modern industrial and financial world, invertebrates of the crustacean order, with shells of steel, like machines; for readers who haven’t the brains to be socialists; and readers for whom the root of sanity is in the balls.

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review 2010-04-20 00:00
Lady Chatterleys Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover - D.H. Lawrence I got 200 pages into this one mainly based on Lawrence's writing. I do like the way he forms sentences.

What I did not like was the romance. It wasn't a romance. It was a Doomed Attraction between two people who didn't seem to like each other very much. Lady Chatterly was fine, then she annoyed me. It wasn't very sexy (I know, standards have changed, but really), and what little sexiness existed didn't really overpower the "I keep thinking about you even though I don't really like you but I want to spend time naked with you WOE ANGST" nonsense that seemed somehow important to the narrator.
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