Katalyn F edited the summary of Lady Chatterley's Lover Tuesday, July 27, 2010.
In the beginning of the novel the reader is introduced to Connie and her sister Hilda, educated women with understanding and modern parents. Connie marries Sir Clifford Chatterly because of their mutual intellectual attraction, and moves into her husband's ancestral home, Wragby Hall, but finds it dismal. Shortly after, Clifford goes off to war and becomes injured. He no longer has the use of his legs or the ability to produce an heir. Nonetheless, the Chatterlys are happy together for as long as they can share their intellectual pursuits.
Sir Clifford becomes a writer of some note, and Connie enjoys being his sounding board for his stories. Connie is confused but unaffected when her father declares Clifford's stories to be "empty". As a popular writer, Clifford plays host to many of his contemporaries, including Michaelis. Michaelis and Connie become lovers, and although Clifford never discovers the liaison, it is done with his (abstract, non-specific) blessing.
Eventually, Connie becomes worn out. She has come to agree with her father about the emptiness of Clifford's writing and feels her attachment to him waining. She is overworked taking care of Clifford and sapped of energy by her intense dislike for her surroundings. When Hilda visits, she declares that Clifford must hire an attendant, because Connie can no longer stand to be his only caretaker. Eventually, Clifford gives in and hires Ivy Bolton, a nurse from the village.
Under Mrs. Bolton's guidance, Sir Clifford takes a more active role in the coal mining operation on his land. He and Connie grow to have even less in common. No longer responsible for her husband's care, Connie takes to walking Wragby's grounds on a regular basis and becomes somewhat acquainted with the grounds keeper, Mellors. Although she does not particularly seem to like him at first, she is nonetheless physically attracted to him. Eventually, the two develop a physical relationship, and later on even an emotional one. Mrs. Bolton discovers their romance, but decides to keep the information to herself.
Connie suspects that she is pregnant, and decides to use her upcoming trip to Venice as a cover. She and Clifford had previously discussed the idea of her taking a lover for the sake of producing an heir to Wragby. She knows that he would not approve of Mellors fathering the child, but some unknown lover in Venice would seem both appropriate and non-threatening. While Connie is in Venice with her father and sister, however, Mellors' estranged wife returns, enraged by his request for a divorce. She uncovers evidence of a woman in his cottage and begins to search for answers and share information with the other villagers. She even begins to suspect Lady Chatterly, and Clifford, enraged by the suggestion, fires Mellors.
Connie meets up with Mellors in London upon her return from Venice, and declares her intentions to leave Clifford. Mellors is introduced to Connie's family, and welcomed at least warmly enough that both her father and sister are willing to assist in Connie's efforts. Hilda suggests that Clifford will be more willing to agree to a divorce if he feels that Connie has a better chance at happiness with someone else in their social caste, and an old family friend is convinced to play the part. Clifford, however, will not give in and Connie is forced to divulge the truth of her affair.
The book ends with Connie and Mellors reaffirming their love for one another and working towards their mutual divorces.