Banned in Britain for over a decade because of its frank treatment of sexual love, D. H. Lawrence's controversial story traces three generations of a farming family. Spanning the period from 1840 to 1905, the novel portrays the effects of Britain's industrial revolution on the Brangwen clan, as their lives evolve from a pastoral idyll into the chaos of modernity. Lawrence considers the nuances of family and marital relations, examining the battle for dominance and the psychology of sex as well as an astonishing range of philosophical issues that include metaphysical views of God and the universe.
Peopled by complex, multifaceted characters, the tale remains fresh and dynamic in its explorations of the factors behind romantic relationships and the effects of changing times on the individual and society. The women of The Rainbow are especially well drawn, and Lawrence champions many feminist issues that he explores further in the book's sequel, Women in Love.