Penguin is really working hard to separate me from my dollars lately. First, those delightful mini-books, and now gorgeous fabric-covered hardbacks of assorted classics. I stood my ground when I encountered the lovely black-and-white The Picture of Dorian Gray, I reluctantly walked away from the annotated Great Expectations, but when I saw the fiery orange and red of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, I knew they had me. Especially when I flipped through and realized it was the third version of the novel (the version originally published, and the last to feel the might of Lawrence’s pen), fully annotated, with appendices discussing the geography and the dialect, an introductory essay by Doris Lessing, and Lawrence’s own essay on the work “A Propos of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’”. How could I resist? I am only human after all.
I have read all three versions (yes, I really was not kidding all the times I have crushed out on Lawrence in these pages), but I only own a copy of the second version, John Thomas and Lady Jane, so I could just barely justify buying this new edition, despite having read the book and having a shelf crammed full to overflowing of books to be read. And my brain is patting itself on the back now for that clever rationalization because this edition is so worth reading. (more…)