Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. It was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama when it appeared in 1913 and is widely considered the major work of D. H. Lawrence's early period. This intensely autobiographical novel recounts the story of Paul Morel, a young artist growing to manhood in a British working-class family rife with conflict. The author's vivid evocation of life in a Nottingham mining village in the years before the First World War and his depiction of the all-consuming nature of possessive love and sexual attraction make this one of his most powerful novels.
'Of all Lawrence's work, Sons and Lovers, tells us most about the emotional source of his ideas,' observed Diana Trilling. 'The famous Lawrence theme of the struggle for sexual power--and he is sure that all the struggles of civilized life have their root in this primary contest--is the constantly elaborated statement of the fierce battle which tore Lawrence's family.' For Kate Millett, 'Sons and Lovers is a great novel because it has the ring of something written from deeply felt experience. The past remembered, it conveys more of Lawrence's own knowledge of life than anything else he wrote. His other novels appear somehow artificial beside it.'