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The Rainbow

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The Rainbow

by D H Lawrence

  • Used
  • very good
  • hardcover
  • First
Very Good
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 3 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Wellington, New Zealand
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US$35.00 shipping to USA
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About This Item

London: Methuen & Co Ltd, 1915. First printing. Very Good. 463 pages with 6 pages at rear including rear end papers . Last page has a tear missing but not affecting the yext.Very Good. Brick red cloth bords with gilt title and leaf decoration to spine. First edition. The Rainbow, by D. H. Lawrence author of 'Sons and Lovers'. Top edges only trimmed; bottom and side edges untrimmed. Copyright page states 'First Published in 1915'. Front end papers show Methuen's Colonial Library titles. Bookseller stamp - Smith's Book Shop Wellington 34 Mercer Street. Traces of a book plate on fixed front end paper. Front board a bit loose with a split in the end paper. Apparently only 821 copies were distributed in England including file and review copies. It is not clear how many were sent for colonial distribution. out of the 500 planned. Lawrence's frank treatment of sexual desire and the power it plays within relationships as a natural and even spiritual force of life, though perhaps tame by modern standards, caused The Rainbow to be prosecuted in an obscenity trial in late 1915, as a result of which all copies were seized and burnt. After this ban it was unavailable in Britain for 11 years, although editions were available in the USA.


D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow follows three generations of the Brangwen family, with a particular focus on the sexual dynamics of, and relations between, the characters. Tom Brangwen, who is… let’s say “not the brightest,” succeeds to his father’s farm and falls in love with Lydia Lensky, a Polish widow; Anna, Lydia’s daughter (and Tom’s stepdaughter), marries Will, a distant relative of Tom’s; Anna and Will’s oldest daughter, Ursula, is a modern working woman. For Tom Brangwen’s generation sex happens, but between the lines. For Anna and Will, bodies are alluded to and desires described. By the time Ursula Brangwen is a young woman, sex is frequent and directly addressed. This depiction of sexual desire as a natural force — perhaps spiritual, even! — caused quite a stir upon The Rainbow’s publication. The novel was almost instantly removed from the shelves of bookstores across the UKcountry and was then prosecuted in an obscenity trial in a British Magistrates’ court in November 1915, just two months after its release. As a result, roughly half of the copies of the novel’s original print run of were seized and burnt. The Rainbow was unavailable in the UK for 11 years following. Lawrence initially conceived The Rainbow and what became its sequel, Women in Love, as a single novel titled The Sisters. However, after much revision, that manuscript became two of the author’s greatest novels. The Rainbow is ranked 48th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century; Women in Love is ranked 49th.

Read more: Identifying first editions of The Rainbow


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The Last Word NZ (NZ)
Bookseller Inventory #
The Rainbow
D H Lawrence
Book condition
Used - Very Good
Quantity available
First printing
Methuen & Co Ltd
Place of Publication
Date published

Terms of Sale

The Last Word

30 day return guarantee, with full refund including shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives inaccurately or damaged. Prices are not set in stone - contact me if you want to haggle or submit a reasonable offer. Some larger and heavier books will incur extra postage - I will let you know when you order the book.

About the Seller

The Last Word

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 3 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2009
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About The Last Word

Dealer in good quality books. Especially Man Booker Prize winners - signed first editions, vintage childrens\\\' books and important New Zealand books such as those by Janet Frame. Prices are not set in stone - contact me if you want to haggle or submit a reasonable offer.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...[more]
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
Copyright page
The page in a book that describes the lineage of that book, typically including the book's author, publisher, date of...[more]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]

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