England, My England by DH Lawrence (1922)

Short story review: England, My England by DH Lawrence, from England, My England, and Other Stories (1922)

In “England, My England,” Lawrence symbolizes the self-destructive yearning of the fading English gentility through the protagonist Egbert, an effete aristocrat who is killed at the front after enlisting in the army in an attempt to reassert his masculinity. [Source]

Oh, so THAT’S what it was about.

There’s me thinking it was about a man too pretty to be bothered about working a real job, but instead preferring to do some gardening at home, living off his father-in-law’s money and being generally boring and eventually signing on to be a soldier in World War I. Thanks for the clarification, it helped.

Didn’t help with the enjoyment of reading the story, however. It was tedious and felt whiny. Definitely one of those stories that he often writes, where it feels as if everything is just a big ol’ metaphor or symbol-speak for something else entirely. Which, apparently, it sort of was.

It feels “cultural”, in a way that I don’t like and can’t stomach. The sort of haughty, “oh look at me, I’m so artsy, darling! I sit here in a beret, drinking espresso with my artsy pals while I contemplate my existential angst which no amount of poetry can fully describe.”

DH Lawrence was an expert in this field, especially if you add a woman brooding over not getting laid and/or a man who fancies another man. I’m sorry, I find it incredibly dull, even if the nature descriptions warm the cockles of my heart.

2 estranged and unfulfilled spouses out of 5.

Read this short story: Project Gutenberg

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