Lady Chatterley ‘s Lover: the book and the true story

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a movie released on Netflix in November 2022. Starring Emma Corrin, the film tells about an adulterous relationship between the noble aristocrat Lady Chatterley and the gamekeeper of the Chatterley family estate. Being a story with a solid erotic connotation, fans wonder if the book on which the film is based has the same sensual charge and if the character of Lady Chatterley is based on a true story.

While we dig into the answers, you can check out the official trailer for Lady Chatterley’s Lover below.

Lady Chatterley's Lover | Official Trailer | Netflix

Lady Chatterley’s Lover: the book by D.H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterley’s Lover is based on the book of the same name published by English writer D.H. Lawrence in 1928. In the United Kingdom, it was considered a scandalous novel due to its erotic, immoral, and obscene content, so the book could not be published in the UK. But Lawrence found a chance at a small publishing house in Florence, so although its publication was banned in the UK and other countries for more than 30 years, the book became increasingly popular. As always, the forbidden turns out to be the most fascinating.

The book Lady Chatterley’s Lover tells of the failure of the marriage between the protagonist Constance, a young and beautiful English aristocrat, and the baronet Clifford Chatterley who was paralyzed from the waist down due to injuries from the First World War.

Sentenced to enforced chastity, given the baronet’s impotence, Constance finds the possibility of vitality and pleasure in her relationship with the Chatterley estate’s gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. At first, the relationship is based solely on sex. Initially, Constance almost feels repulsion towards the “wild” ranger, but little by little, the relationship begins to deepen into a loving and tender feeling. This will lead the protagonists to fight so that the love between them does not remain in an adulterous relationship without the possibility of being fully lived, but instead becomes the choice of a new life for Constance and Oliver.

The book was defined as scandalous, mainly for the explicit and passionate descriptions of the sexual relations between the two lovers and the massive use of obscene vocabulary for the time.

Is Lady Chatterley ‘s Lover a true story?

As we said, the Netflix movie Lady Chatterley’s Lover is based on D.H. Lawrence’s book of the same name, but we could say that the story of Lady Chatterley is partly true. Indeed, the book is partially inspired by the extramarital affair of Lawrence’s wife, Frieda, with the Italian infantryman Angelo Rivagli. Just like the protagonist of the book, Frieda belonged to the high aristocracy, as well as being a highly educated woman who dedicated her life to literature. Frieda was a very passionate and vital woman who found herself in a similar condition to Constance after D.H. Lawrence contracted tuberculosis that left him almost totally disabled and later led to his death. Indeed due to the extreme weakness of the writer, who could not fully satisfy the wife’s vitality, Frieda began a relationship with the young Italian soldier.

But at the same time, the book is also inspired by the same extramarital affair between Frieda and D.H Lawrence and which became an official relationship with marriage in 1914. Frieda was married to a renowned English philologist and literature professor and fell in love with Lawrence, a former student of her husband’s.

So Clifford Chatterley’s characters and Oliver Mellors’s are both inspired by the actual events experienced by the writer. On one occasion, he was the lover; on another, he was the betrayed husband.

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