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Women In Love: Adapting DH Lawrence's famous novels

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William Ivory William Ivory | 12:03 UK time, Thursday, 24 March 2011

This is what I call squeaky bum time. A few days to go before transmission of the first instalment of my two-part version of DH Lawrence's Women In Love.

Some press coverage has started to emerge and plenty more will be lined up behind it. Not to mention the opinions of numerous academics and Lawrence experts the world over.

Squeaky bum? This is full on fear.

Rosamund Pike as Gudrun Brangwen in Women In Love

It's always like this as a production nears its airing, but my emotions around Women In Love seem particularly raw.

I think it's partly the time it's taken to write - a tad over six years by my reckoning - and partly the fact that it's my first adaptation, so I feel I need to be nervous for both me and dear old Bertie.

Above all, though, I'm anxious because I'm as proud of this production as I am of anything I've ever written. And I want people to engage with it.

Not because of a terrible and unedifying need for attention either (though clearly that is there) but because I want people to go back to DH Lawrence and read his books again.

And to do that, I need the audience to watch these films and realise that Lawrence is so much more than his popular image, which is of a man who was obsessed with sex and anti-women and... and that's about it really.

Because, the truth is, he's a brilliant writer who tackled many complex issues, who put women at the very core of so much of what he wrote, and who examined sex in detail.

Not because he was Dirty Bertie, as he has been dubbed, but precisely because he wanted to get away from the prurient arched-eyebrow approach to sex and the human body which so characterised (does it still?) the tutting English.

Rachel Stiring as Ursula Brangwen, Rory Kinnear as Rupert Birkin and Joseph Mawle as Gerald Crich

For Lawrence, all life should be an attempt to live outside the mind and the consciousness. He wanted people to find a way to transcend, to be truly free.

He suspected that death and the orgasm were the two occasions when this happened. So, naturally, much of his work focuses in on these two themes.

But it is not the sum total of his output. Far from it. And I hope you'll watch these two films and realise that is true.

One final thing, though. Don't sit there with a tattered copy of The Rainbow or Women In Love in front of you.

Everything which is in the books is in my films. But it's in there differently.

William Ivory is the screenwriter of Women In Love.

Women In Love is on BBC Four at 9pm on Thursday, 24 March. For further programme times, please visit the upcoming episodes page.

Listen to William Ivory discuss adapting Women In Love on Radio 4's Front Row.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I watched your adaptation this evening and I have to say did not have a particularly high expectation at first but I was transported completely by it. Previous adaptations of Lawrence have seemed too earnest and faithful to the text and the sex portrayed too 'accurately' I really liked the way you captured the intensity and passion of both novels (The Rainbow doesn't even seem like a novel to me more a treatise to an open expression of sexuality) and every characterisation was given so much time even though it is messy, a roller-coaster. I was particularly impressed by the wonderful Saskia Reeves as Anna Brangwen (even though we should be more drawn to the younger women) but maybe because I associate more with her time of life! I was crying in parts not with a maudlin sadness but because I think the protagonists were written so sympathetically and you could feel their passions deeply. And feeling in Lawrence's work is what life is about. I look forward to Part 2.

  • Comment number 2.

    I just finished watching WOMEN IN LOVE on iPlayer and really enjoyed the writing, the pace and the beautiful, aching language. I agree with the last contributor that the characters were very sympathetically drawn, despite not always being likeable. Your actors played them sensitively and, in close-up, there was such a clear sense of pain and vulnerability, without it ever being indulged. The humiliation of the two sisters, of Gudrun in the nightclub and of Anna on the roadside, were moments that were genuinely hard to watch.

    You talk about combating the tawdry stereotype of Lawrence; I thought you expressed through the characters' desires a deep need to connect intimately with someone - and this is how you quoted Lawrence - with a sort of transcendence, a freedom, I suppose, beyond language and convention.

    I don't know. I'm no scholar, or paperback-touting expert. I remember reading The Prussian Officer for A-Level and feeling like his stories opened a door for me, but since then my interest in literature has drifted. I don't read anymore. I don't expect to find things in novels and stories. I don't look. Your adaptation reminded me of what it felt like to read Lawrence for the first time.

    That seems to me to be a great measure of success. Thank you.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's strange how everyone, since the start, has wanted to trash David. And now this - a complete trashing of Women In Love. So, Rupert Birkin is a closest shagger of soldiers, Gerald a complete rot, and all the 'women' (for their were no women in this dramatization, unlike in the novel) passive responders of nothing. No. First, there is no sex in the novel (except the sex of words), Second, Birkin is cantankerous and misanthropic, Cerald is like steel, breakable (also puritanical!), Ursula, strong,sensitive, Gudren, desperate, deathly, tragic. It's a book about people, not gendas, not sex per se, not anything about anything except people! Read the dam book and get the sex out your head!

  • Comment number 4.

    And if you are the author of this sneaky, envies but well lubricated attempt at nihilism - exactly what the novel confronts and, in its own way, overcomes - through the love of Rupert and Ursula - then you are found out, once and for all.

  • Comment number 5.

    Actually, it's worse - it's homophobic - because in the novel Birkin is not 'the man' that Gerald is - one of it's central motifs - but rather sensitive, intelligent, hesitant, he must, therefore, be a homo. Or are you taking your cue from Russerl's outrageous attempt at outrage?

  • Comment number 6.

    Thank you so much for this. It's really gratifying. And I, too, was keen to make the Anna and Will strand really sing because, like you, it resonates at my time of life! Thanks again.

  • Comment number 7.

    A response to blatny93...sorry it didn't wet your whistle as they say but to respond to the accusation that the show was homophobic in its treatment of Birkin, I just have to explain that my reason for portraying Birkin as a gay man trying to be straight, was Lawrence's description of him:"He (Birkin) wanted all the time to love women. He wanted all the while to feel this kindled, loving attraction towards a beautiful woman that he would often feel towards a handsome man. But he could not." I thought that suggested a homosexual preference. I also thought that when DH Lawrence wrote:"it was for men that he (Birkin) felt the hot, flushing, roused attraction which a man is supposed to feel for the other sex" he was suggesting again that Birkin had homosexual tendencies. And finally, when Bert wrote "vividly, months afterwards, he (Birkin) would recall the soldier who had pressed up close to him on a journey from Charing Cross to Westerham," I similarly felt he was suggesting Birkin was actually gay but struggling to cope with it. Maybe I miss read that. I don't think so.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sorry. My first blog was to Serendipity. And to Ciaran McConville, too, much thanks. If it made you feel about Lawrence then I am thrilled. That it made you feel as you did when you first read him...wonderful! Thank you!

  • Comment number 9.

    I registered especially so I could comment on this; it's years since I read any Lawrence and having seen last night's episode I'll be busting open the book box and digging out the novels, plays, poems and travel books that 'Bertie' left us this weekend! Your adaptation is superb, sir, and I was transfixed. Proper lives, proper feelings, looked like a dream although events occasionally akin to a nightmare for the characters...no-one else ever wrote like Lawrence, and I'd forgotten that, and you've reminded me. So thanks for that and all congratulations are due to you and your adaptation.

  • Comment number 10.

    What a drab ,dull, dreary unimaginative television Lawrence portrayal this is. So hard to muster any sympathy or empathy with or for any of these characters - an expensive look on screen certainly, costume, design make-up ,lit in a soft dreamy haze, everything the BBC does superbly and has done for decades. This one sleepwalks through leaden literary dialogue tries so hard the earnest actors struggling even with sex and decadence in London. . . .

  • Comment number 11.

    Dear WOS,

    Thanks for the comment. Really thrilled to think you're going back to your Lawrence collection off the back of our first episode. To me this is the point of any adaptation; to re-invigorate the interest in and the debate around a great writer's work. Terrific!

  • Comment number 12.

    And Neville, on the same theme, I hope that you, also now, will dip into Lawrence's novels again to remind yourself of just how vibrant, colourful, fecund, visceral, and downright good old Bert is(which clearly I failed to convey!). Shame to leave him with a sour taste in the mouth!

  • Comment number 13.

    Dear William Ivory - do forgive the unintential 'sour sounding' comments' you obviously are an experienced screenwriter. Confess to not being a DH Lawrence admirer, so morbidly depressing and moribund, although he does bridge the period of 'enlightenment' for women. Was it not a difficult literary and dialogue challenge for tv adaptation ? Many speeches heavily narrative rather than action led.

  • Comment number 14.

    Just watched the first episode this afternoon. I have only a vague memory of the film but I was intrigued by the relationship between the two sisters, as Gudrun reminds me of one of my best friends in her attitude to life and love, whereas I am more like Ursula. It seems to me that, as in the case of the film adaptation of "Atonement", everything was beautifully shot and designed in order to alleviate the essentially tragic nature of what happened to the girls in this episode: a miscarriage and rape in Ursula's case, abandonment and public humiliation in Gudrun's.

    I'm looking forward to when the sisters meet Birkin and Gilbert, it feels like there will be fireworks of both the physical and mental kind.

  • Comment number 15.

    Dear William,

    Two things. First, thank you for this blog, a wonderfully engaging response from a writer to the reactions of his audience. Second, thanks for opening Lawrence anew in the adaptation. My mental 'Lawrence world' is drab, grey and essentially Edwardian (albeit, chronologically, not necessarily so). It's a mental world of cramped rooms, cramped thinking and cramped people. You, though, have opened up Lawrence to light, to spontaneity and vibrancy of the type that was within reach of Lawrence's contemporaries. Thanks for shifting my point of view. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get back to the novels again soon. For now, though, I am obsessed with Gissing (why can't anyone adapt Gissing without an overwhelming diet of the dour and no light and shade, by the way?) and the late Victorian realists (like Pett Ridge) - a slightly earlier melancholy!

  • Comment number 16.

    What a disappointment - surely there is enough story in both books without adding the adaptors own bits - why is the mother Anna not Lydia and English instead of Polish. Where is the child Anna that Tom was attached to? Lawrence had a yearning to have a blood brother relationship with a man such as his friend John Middleton Murray and that is the need he gave Birkin - there was no desire to have sex in a toilet with him. Why is Hermione criticising his manhood? There is no incident like that in the book- why is Birkin now preaching in church and not a school's inspector. Poor old Diana was bumped off without a gasp - Too compressed and too many liberties and why cast the blonde as Gudrun and the dark one as Ursula - this isn't Lawrence's book but William Ivory writing his own one

  • Comment number 17.

    I was looking forward to this production. A good reworking of this novel is so overdue. Please can you tell me what your Birkin and Ursula do for a living? Hermione, in a scene which I must have forgotten was in the book describes Birkin as being 'in the church'. Does that mean he is a vicar? I am a fan of D H Lawrence's and thought I knew the book, but obviously not.

  • Comment number 18.

    You've captured the essence of Lawrence and just how well he understood women and our emotions. But it's not just about women...Lawrence played out a need in some of us to walk the path of danger, even if it means self destruction because to feel and love to the extreme is to truly live. You've brought to life the fact that Ursula and Gudrun are both true to themselves and throw caution to the wind, whereas Saskia Reeves' character, Anna has lost that joie de vivre and freedom to duty and domestic necessity. It's raw and gritty, yet intensely sensitive - a wonderful adaptation and I can't wait to see the second one. You've some a long way since Lady Bay!

  • Comment number 19.

    Well, can I first of all say to everyone who's posted: thank you for getting me involved in this blog. I now understand why my daughters hurry upstairs to log on to sites like this so readily: it's utterly addictive! Of course, for a man who gave up drinking ten years ago precisely because that addictive streak runs so strong, I shall have to ration myself or I'll be here all day and not writing.

    A couple of responses directly, if I may? Odette, we obviously crossed paths in Nottingham so a big thanks for keeping on the case of a Notts lad. And thank you for such kind comments. I was really touched.
    Gordonviolin: Ursula is a school teacher and Birkin a schools' inspector.
    Woundedpride. Thank you for your comments too. I love the image of cramped thinking. Very evocative. As to Pett Ridge, I am going to read some now, never having attempted his novels. Terrific. It's always great to find out people's passions and to be launched forward in some way by them.
    And Neville, nothing to forgive in your comments. If only reviewers and many viewers, dare I say it, watched what we work on with the same levels of engagement. Good or bad, the thing is to know that you have moved people in some way. So thanks for posting again.
    And talking of bad...Jacquee Storozynski...I'm sorry you were disappointed. To answer some of your points, though, can I re-iterate that I made Birkin clearly homosexual because in Lawrence's prologue to Women in Love, he makes it explicitly clear that this is what he intends. And he also lays out quite clearly that Hermione was taunted by Birkin about his use of prostitutes and the fact that despite his success there, he could not be aroused by her. Therefore, the scene where she mocks his impotency felt honestly generated to me, as a response to the cruelty (which Lawrence records) that he, Birkin, has dished out to her.
    As to why Anna is not Lydia and why she is English not Polish, I can only say that I did not have the space to render the whole of The Rainbow. And that is why Tom is not featured "loving" Anna. In fact, that is why I have made Will love Ursula because I wanted to keep the theme of overbearing parental love without having to incorporate such a vast and elongated time scale.
    But ultimately, I did it because I wanted to write the heart of the books. Not just turn every scene in the book into a film. There would be no point doing that. The books are majestic, as you obviously appreciate. And the beautiful story of Lydia, her dead doctor husband and her marriage to Tom, is astoundingly powerful. And it's there to be read. It can be bought tomorrow or loaned at the library. And people should do that. For me, though, the task was to write my RESPONSE to the books. So I dispute your last point and half agree with it, too. Because my film is Lawrence's two novels; I know in my heart and gut that it is. But it IS also my book. And that is why I got involved in the project: to let this great writer seep through my bones and out through my skin.

    Anyway, I'm off to the day job now. Thanks again, one and all!

  • Comment number 20.

    Brave man. I came away with mixed feelings. I felt that you over-egged the homosexuality and the sex, completely miscast Birkin, and mistreated the 'Water Party' chapter which, for me, is the most epic passage of writing you'll ever come across. But, in your defence, you have simply tinkered with certain aspects of the novel that I felt close too, so you can't be held to account for that. Much like the last two chapters of The Rainbow, I felt the last 10 minute montage was spectacular. If I was looking to do an adaptation, then I would have done something as esoteric and powerful as that - it was at that point that I felt relieved; here is a director who really felt the uncomfortable, but alluring, drive and passion of Lawrence's writing. You also incorporate that manic, avant garde milieu that Lawrence draws upon in Women in Love and I congratulate you on that. You touched upon it (with Birkin and Gerald conversation about Futurism) earlier, and I thought it was a really nice touch that you brought theme back at the end of the episode. The music was immense - I felt really uncomfortable.

    And finally, you drew upon the intimate nuances of character really well. So well in fact, that my wife - who has always mocked me for my love of DHL - was really drawn in. The portrayal of Anna and Ursula and Will was really touching and to focus on that particular aspect of The Rainbow, and play it out so well, opens Lawrence up to a new audience.

    Twice my wife has asked when the second installment is.... That eagerness is almost unheard of! So well done.

    Actually, one last thing. Did you base your adaptation on any of the earlier drafts (like The Wedding Ring, or The Sisters)?

  • Comment number 21.

    Loerking Around...Great post. Much to chew on. I obviously don't agree on Birkin note - but casting is SO subjective. On The Water Party, you've touched a raw nerve. I suspect my director would have some sympathy with your comment as she wanted a version much closer to the novel. And the moments of Gerald and Gudrun lapsing out on the water ARE utterly nerve tingling. In the end though, I made the choices I did for the coherence of the piece as a whole. But I take your point!

  • Comment number 22.

    William Ivory,

    I'm sorry about my drive by, but you want to make what are the urges of everyone into a drama, which Lawrence wished to show, that sex goes everywhere, that Birkin loves Gerald and, sometimes, confuses his love, with the sex he feels, that he loves 'man' and wants a 'brotherliness' that seems like sex, with your crude hagiography. What is the confusion in Birkins mind? It is that 'brotherly love', love of one fellow man fails and only love of woman means anything. Hence Gerald and Gudren fall to hell. And Rupert and Ursula love each other. And this is the defeat of nihilism!

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    William Ivory, your response to me is part of the same drama - your compelled to idiocy - don't quote Lawrence to me as if meant anything - if you were brave and your heart was open and you weren't cowardly you'd portray life as it is!

  • Comment number 25.

    I know, today, they want to turn Lawrence into a rotter - and I can see from this attempted 'updating', you want to, to - - but he was a man, of sorts, who came from nothing, but ex nihil was born, was alive, in a way very few of us are. I hate the bullying and abuse against him. He was himself - like Jesus, like John Lennon, like life.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm sorry, I lost my temper, as usual. I just think there is such a beautiful drama that could be made of the tragedy of Gerald and Gudren - think of near the end and that horrible artist/sculpter there in Switzerland - before both walk off into the snow - beauty is so difficult and when it is achieved, please don't be-smirch it.

  • Comment number 28.

    What happened to Ursula's brief relationship with Winifred Inger ?
    Was it so brief I blinked and missed it ?

    My reflection on the whole thing ?
    Beautifully fimed, structured, acted, but somehow ultimately disappointing . . .

  • Comment number 29.

    Thanks to Mr Ivory and his comments and indeed he wanted to bring something of himself to the adaptation but now the characters have gone to Africa - the coldness of the snow etc refllected the coldness of Gudrun an Gerald's relationship in the desert it must havemeant they were hot stuff - No doesn't work

  • Comment number 30.

    I can see that you had to have music for the last few minutes of the second part of Women in Love, but the Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations was for me an unfortunate choice as I was unable to pay attention to anything else while it played and so have very little idea of how you chose to end the dramatization. The performance was compelling, but you don't appear to have credited the pianist. Who was it?

  • Comment number 31.

    you made it as complicated,difficult,disappointing,as full of stark metaphors and the understanding of class consciousness,gender and generational conflict as lawrence himself would have liked.Thanks to all for a great show

  • Comment number 32.

    What exactly was wrong with my post?

    Only a cat, a cat knows, and when we ask him,
    He won't tell. Sometimes all I can see are her freckles
    And the half side of her smile. Everything shines.

    It was about that beautiful scene, very early on, between Birkin and Ursula, when they see and are distracted by a cat. How does love become, eventually, abuse?

  • Comment number 33.

    qzzb333

    How would he have liked it? I think he would have bored!

  • Comment number 34.

    Sorry mis word!

    How would he have liked it? I think he would have been bored!

  • Comment number 35.

    I suppose it was crap poetry - like your film - and was rejected on the basis of taste. O well - selah!

  • Comment number 36.

    I'm with Chris Ellis on this - please let us know the name of the pianist or it will do my nut in... Even the usually thorough IMDB does not carry this essential bit of information. Not a bad version - a bit like Kempff.

  • Comment number 37.

    blatny93 has been given too much 'blog' time to talk about nonsense

    I love to immerse myself in books, yet have never read anything of Lawrence's. Watching Women in Love has made me want to devour everything Lawrence has ever written. So I can't comment on how true to the spirit of the original your adaptation has been, only that it worked for me. I found the story compelling, the acting exceptional - especially Ursula, but it was nice to see that Rosamund Pike can act as well as being able to look absolutely stunning. I think Lawrence probably had a positive effect on women's rights, as the books would surely have touched the hearts of educated men.

    Thank you, truly.

  • Comment number 38.

    I can tell from your response, William, that you misunderstood Lawrence from the beginning. Listen, a novel is full of mystery and ambiguity. There is no either/or, my son. There is merely that radical indecision in our souls. Get it?

  • Comment number 39.

    katya my darling, read the book and then speak!

  • Comment number 40.

    Watched part 2- Oh dear! Birkin the wimp. Gerald not far behind - what happened to the industry he was trying to modernise and his mother - she was never in it? As for artist - more miscasting - I don't think the casting director read Lawrence at all. As for the feeble wrestling which Lawrence depicted as male bonding session like the ancient Greeks, it was more like a punch up at Brighton and sandy bodies are not at all artistic- I think DHL should have been left out of it and the programme be called, 'The story what I wrote!' Anon.

  • Comment number 41.

    blatny93 - I am not your 'darling'. Have you nothing better to do with your life? You didn't like it. Get over it, move on, and stop jamming up the comments page!!!

  • Comment number 42.

    I also registered to comment on this adaptation. The essence of the novels was definitely portrayed and I found your version very moving. A superb cast, especially the Brangwen sisters. I love "the Rainbow" so I did find the part with Skrebensky lacking in some depth. I don't think sex was the only reason why Ursula could not be with him. My Mum has never read Lawrence , but she was so moved she wants to start reading them!

  • Comment number 43.

    Thanks for the blog and the wonderful adaptation, which made me remember how I felt about the novels rather than the events I recall reading (but now I want to go back and double-check). Please could you let me know where else you took your inspiration? Where there any particular DHL short stories, poems or letters that made it into the film in some form?

  • Comment number 44.

    Hi William, I am so pleased that some people exist, particularly yourself, who share my passion for Lawrence. I truely hope this drama evokes an interest and a greater understanding of the man and his work. Having read the two books amongst his other works I feel that the series captured lawrence's essence, which is no easy task given the language and style of his writing. I faced a challenge of watching without prejudice, which being honest was not easy. As with a few other comments I am not totally convinced about Birkin's homoerotic longings, I understand why you focused on it (from your previous commets) but am not totally convinced it was written with that intent. Lawrence himself often talked about a physical closeness with other men which wanted to go 'beyound the personal' but that was not sexual. Birkin's "thinking too precisely on the event" or affectedness I feel was more to do with Lawrence's (Birkin's) struggle to free himself from the bonds of his mother and share a full relationship with another woman (Oedipal - for want of a better expression). Also Gudrun's relationship with the older married man - was this taken from 'The Trespaser'? Lastly, the fantasy/dream sequence Gerald had of his dad beating him - is this based on Lawrence's own father's aggression? The scene where Gerald experiences his father's death was deeply moving - you could feel the emptiness. I understand not all can be included but the scene where Birkin throws stones into the lake to try and remove the reflection of the moon would have been poetic - maybe more suited to a French film. Having seen the series I feel as though I am not really living my life to the full, something that always leaves me feeling when I finish the novels - I think that's what Lawrence wanted - his readers to search for more life. Thanks for bringing Lawrence alive in the 21st century.

  • Comment number 45.

    Congratulations to all concerned in this magnificent, bold production. I thought it was brilliant, entirely engrossing and delicious to watch. The switch from Austria to Africa was a bold one, but worked extremely well and in many ways was more appropriate emphasising Gerald's wealth with the notion that he might plan a trip to oversee interests in a gold mine he had there rather than a simple European 'jolly'. The acting was superb by all four leads who captured the characters' complexities and vulnerabilities with in most cases just a look. Rosamund Pike was just perfect as Gudrun. I was only disappointed that my favourite line in the book of Gudrun to Gerald towards the end wasn't used "Try to love me a little more, and to want me a little less". I always think it summaries the great gulf between them - and to a large extent all couples in trouble. It seems to encapsulate the divide between what Gerald and Gudrun want and thus what all men and all women want, which of course is nearly always Lawrence's theme.

  • Comment number 46.

    I gave it a chance after being mildly annoyed following the first installment, but you completely lost me after the second. In fact, I felt so distraught by the adaptation I was nearly in tears. I appreciate that it was cheaper to film in South Africa, but to alter the actual story for budgetary constraints and move the climax of the novel to the desert, just goes to show how TV/film can actually corrupt, distort, misrepresent and ruin a book.

    They.went.to.the.Alps.

    You talk about giving it your own interpretation, which is fine, but to change the actual story is ridiculous. You can offer reinterpretations, like setting Romeo and Juliet in New York for example, but to pick and choose aspects of the text which you keep, then inventing completely new story lines (and ending) is fundamentally flawed and plainly wrong. You should not have been allowed to call this "Women in Love" - the Beeb should be sued for breach of copyright or something. If you had given it a completely new title, and then added the caveat that it was influenced by Lawrence's work, then maybe you could have got away with what you've produced.

    As it stands, I'm afraid that I was really, really disappointed, and the producer and director and you should all be banned from doing this sort of work for 10yrs.

    This is a shame, as I did like certain parts of the first episode. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but I had to leave it a few days before I left a comment as my emotions were very raw at 10:30 on Thursday night.

    And, someone please stop blatny93 posting. He's offered nothing to this thread apart from nonsense.

  • Comment number 47.

    I absolutely loved this adaptation. It was moving and very very well acted. It conveyed the stress and the sexual suppression by both the men and the women that Lawrence wanted to convey as a sign of his times. I believe that this was a very necessary time to re-make this story onto the screen. The reason is because society has now become totally over-sexualised and in truth suffers from the same stress and misery of not being able to handle sex and relationships - just the other side of the coin. I think some contributors to this site are getting too emotional about the interpretation being untrue to the book- I feel the message of the book was incredibly powerful and this adaptation was magnificent in getting it across.

  • Comment number 48.

    Dear BBC and most importantly Mr Ivory,
    I first read Women in Love while living in my very own DH Lawrence chapter. I was living in Italy, studying in romantic Milan, and madly and completely in love with my very own Gerald, a British Army officer, who was off fighting the war in Afghanistan. The likeness to Gerald and my own is spooky. I remember writing to my love and telling him that I was reading it. Not long after finishing the novel however, he was killed in action, and I immediately flew home.
    The book affected me profoundly and is very much a part of my memories of that time. I've never 'blogged' before, but felt the strong urge to get in touch and tell you how much I adored your adaptation... It has had a similar effect on me that the book originally did. I haven't stopped thinking about it since and am now going to go off and find 'The Rainbow'. I think you did an incredible job Mr Ivory, the female, honest and frankness of Ursula with her human side is truly liberating, the captivating yet insecure Gudrun, and well, Gerald. Stunning. Thank you.

  • Comment number 49.

    I watched the first episode and absolutely adored it... really.. Tonight I have gone to see the second episode and it is no longer available... aaaaaagh!!! Please tell me I can get it somewhere.....

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks so much for a refreshingly shot ( no BBC 'mood' music rattling away all through it) beautifully acted especially Saskia Reeves - away too long! and good production
    BUT pleeeeeaaase why did the major character of the army soldier in the first episode have shoulder length HAIR! it was so frustratingly wrong...like the women and family sitting down and tucking into a Mickey Ds.

    PLEASE why?

  • Comment number 51.

    Mr Ivory, I have just watched both episodes of your superb film. I can't go as far as to say that it was a wonderful adaptation as I haven't read the book and I'm not sure how annoyed I would be at your creative licence if I had! But I can say I was extremely moved after watching it. By the end you managed not only to extract empathy from me for all the main characters, however dislikeable I initially found them to be, but they had strangely become my kindred friends! Thank you.

 

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