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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

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

2 thoughts on “England, My England by DH Lawrence (1922)

  1. Hahaha, reading this review made me very happy. (I think it was the sarcasm.) I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy reading this, though.

  2. Haha, at least it made you happy reading it! 🙂 Reading DH Lawrence is an intense mixture of pleasure and pain. Some of it is absolutely brilliant and very enjoyable, but the rest? Boring, overly arty, symbolism ripe twaddle. *cough* Like Women in Love, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest novels in the English language. I call it a snoozefest. 😉

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