Sons And Lovers

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With Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence announced himself as a major player on the national and international literary scene.

The book - the first in a series of novels featuring the character Paul Morel - drew heavily on Lawrence's own life growing up in a Nottinghamshire mining village, and helped establish him as one of the most venerated novelists of the first half of the twentieth century.

Since then though, Lawrence's reputation has suffered a series of major assaults from those portraying him as aggressively misogynistic and a misanthropic.

A hundred years on from the book's publication, Frank Cottrell Boyce sets out to explain why he thinks Sons and Lovers deserves to be rescued from the bonfire that has engulfed Lawrence's reputation. It is, he argues, a landmark novel filled with extraordinary moments of tenderness that treats its characters as fully realised human beings with profound spiritual and intellectual yearnings.

Frank returns to St Helen's, the former mining town where he grew up, to make the case that Paul Morel and his family are characters who deserve to live on in our reading lives for another hundred years at least.

Producer: Geoff Bird

A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.

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Paul Morel, born into a Nottinghamshire mining family at the turn of the century, supports his mother during a crisis.

Gertrude Morel has married beneath her, to a hard drinking miner.

As family conflict grows she turns to her sons William and Paul.

By D H Lawrence, dramatised in three parts by Michael Butt.

Paul Morel is born into a Nottinghamshire mining family at the turn of the century.

His father is a hard-working, hard-drinking miner, his mother a refined woman of middle-class aspirations.

As family conflict grows, Paul's mother turns to her sons.

Part 1.

With Benedict Sandiford, Elizabeth Estensen and Clive Russell.

Director Claire Grove.

Conflicts grow for Nottinghamshire mining family, Gertrude and Walter Morel and their sons

Stars Benedict Sandiford.

Conflicts grow for Nottinghamshire mining family, Gertrude and Walter Morel and their sons. Stars Benedict Sandiford

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Paul has begun to win prizes for his paintings, but his friendship with Miriam causes his mother to become bitterly jealous.

As Paul's relationship with the beautiful Miriam develops, his mother becomes bitterly jealous.

By D H Lawrence, dramatised in three parts by Michael Butt.

2: Gertrude Morel's unhappy marriage makes her cling to both her sons.

Paul gets a job and begins to win prizes for his paintings, but as his adolescent friendship with the beautiful Miriam develops, his mother becomes bitterly jealous.

With Benedict Sandiford, Elizabeth Estensen and Clive Russell.

Director Claire Grove.

Clinging to her sons, Gertrude is jealous of Paul's success and friendship with Miriam.

Clinging to her sons, unhappy Gertrude is jealous of Paul's success and friendship with Miriam.

Stars Elizabeth Estensen.

Clinging to her sons, unhappy Gertrude is jealous of Paul's success and friendship with Miriam. Stars Elizabeth Estensen.

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Now in his twenties Paul Morel has fallen in love with Clara, a married woman.

Since the death of his brother all his mother's hopes have been focused on Paul.

On impulse he seeks out his first love Miriam.

Now in his twenties, Paul Morel has fallen in love with Clara, a married woman, but on impulse he seeks out his first love, Miriam.

By D H Lawrence.

By D H Lawrence, dramatised in three parts by Michael Butt.

3: Now in his twenties, Paul Morel has fallen in love with Clara, a married woman.

Since the death of his brother, all his mother's hopes are focused on him.

On impulse, he seeks out his first love, Miriam, of whom his mother is bitterly jealous.

With Benedict Sandiford, Elizabeth Estensen and Clive Russell.

Director Claire Grove.

Gertrude clings to her son Paul, who now turns to a new lover.

Gertrude clings to her son Paul, who now turns to a new lover, yet his first love is not forgotten.

Stars Benedict Sandiford.

Gertrude clings to her son Paul, who now turns to a new lover, yet his first love is not forgotten. Stars Benedict Sandiford.