I’ve just finished reading D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Women in Love’. It hasn’t been quick or easy; at approximately 4 pages a night before my eyes close and the book hits the floor, it’s taken a while to read all 541 pages. However, I stuck with it and I’m mighty pleased I did too.
There was one passage in particular which I found absolutely captivating. I love the tiniest details about the shadows and the crockery:
“…The great high studio was full of shadow and a fragrance of coffee. Gudrun and WInifred had a little table near the fire at the far end, with a white lamp whose light did not travel far. They were a tiny world to themselves, the two girls surrounded by lovely shadows, the beams and rafters shadowy overhead, the benches and implements shadowy down the studio.
‘You are cosy enough here,’ said Gerald, going up to them.
There was a low brick fireplace, full of fire, an old blue Turkish rug, the little oak table with the lamp and the white-and-blue cloth and the dessert, and Gudrun making coffee in an old brass coffee-maker, and Winifred scalding a little milk in a tiny saucepan.
‘Have you had coffee?” said Gudrun
‘I have, but I’ll have some more with you,’ he replied.
‘Then you must have it in a glass – there are only two cups,’ said Winifred.
‘It is the same to me,’ he said, taking a chair and coming in to the charmed circle of the girls. How happy they were, how cosy and glamorous it was with them, in a world of lofty shadows! The outside world, in which he had been transacting funeral business all the day, was completely wiped out. In an instant he snuffed glamour and magic.
They had all their things very dainty, two odd and lovely little cups, scarlet and solid gilt, and a little black jug with scarlet discs, and the curious coffee machine, whose spirit-flame flowed steadily, almost invisibly. There was the effect of rather sinister richness, in which Gerald at once escaped himself.
They all sat down, and Gudrun carefully poured out the coffee.
‘Will you have milk?’ she asked calmly, yet nervously poising the little black jug with its big red dots. She was always so completely controlled, yet so bitterly nervous…”