Click Here To Purchase The Virgin and the Gypsy (Naxos Complete Classics)
 
Author: D. H. Lawrence: Read by Georgina Sutton.
Publisher: naxosaudiobooks
ISBN-10: 1843794535:  ISBN-13: 978-1843794530
 
 
For many, the legacy of D. H. Lawrence begins and ends with Lady Chatterly’s Lover.  This is unfortunate as the British writer left behind a compelling canon of short stories, novellas, and novels worthy of ongoing attention outside of academic literary circles. The place of The Virgin and The Gypsy in this canon, however, is problematic as it was published posthumously in 1930, four years after it was written, and apparently left as an uncompleted, or at least unpolished, novella.
 
With
some justification, what survived has been described as an adult fairy tale, largely due to the overt symbolism of the descriptions and characters. The central cast is the family of a shallow Rector; his blind, domineering, toadlike mother; her mean-spirited spinster sister; and the Rector’s two daughters, Yvette and Lucille. Suspected of being tainted by the life-force of their mother—who abandoned the family when the girls were young—the daughters  are chafing against a world they see as drab, stale, ordinary, meaningless. Then they meet a gypsy family led by a virile father who sparks Yvette’s first flushes of womanhood. On one hand, Yvette is intrigued by the exotic otherness of the gypsy and, on the other hand, feels herself ensnared in the comfortable, if sterile, family nest.

 
The Virgin and The Gypsy uses typical Lawrence tropes and themes; for example, his short story, “The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter,” juxtaposes a gray, loveless existence with the hot, fiery power of passion. The barriers in the British class system demonstrated in Lady Chatterly is echoed by the working class gypsy and the protected Yvette. But a reader need not be familiar with Lawrence to be drawn into the vivid, tightly-sketched psychological exploration of circumstances that likely mirror worries we all share—to dare to break out of the familiar or be pulled into a dull conformity that crushes the human spirit. In fact, The Virgin and The Gypsy could serve as a good introduction into the realm of D. H. Lawrence due to its brevity, so long as readers know it contains but a taste of Lawrence’s range.
 
As this is an audiobook that clocks in at 3 hours and 36 minutes, it should be mentioned that reader Georgina Sutton does a nicely credible job of narrating the text. The story doesn’t require a deft hand at accents or dialects, but rather the tone of a storyteller relating the events of friends or family they know intimately. It’s a good read, if one understands it’s a diamond in the rough and can accept the surprisingly melodramatic conclusion.
    
  
Click Here To Purchase The Virgin and the Gypsy (Naxos Complete Classics)