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Rawdon’s Roof by DH Lawrence

Rawdon’s Roof by DH Lawrence from The Virgin and the Gipsy & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics, 2004)

It’s a very short story, a mere 8½ pages, so there’s not a lot that happens. It begins with the narrator talking about a man, Rawdon, who vows that no woman will ever sleep under his roof again. Not that he hates women or anything – he’s married and seems to be having an affair with a married woman, but the relationship seems a bit strange. It goes on about this for very nearly half the short story, only to then state that “the cat was never let out of the bag”, and tells of one evening when this woman came to visit when the narrator was also visiting. And the narrator discovers Rawdon’s manservant was having a bit of a how’s-yer-father with a woman in the guest bed. Erm, and that’s about it.

The story felt a bit “meh” because it’s over before it even has much of a chance of starting. Definitely not a favourite of the ones I’ve read so far. Feels like it’s supposed to be some sort of allegory or something along those lines. Like it’s meant to have lots of symbolic meaning. Actually, they all do. Unfortunately, I don’t really “do” that sort of story, so from me, it’s a sound “yeah, whatever”. The other ones at least had a bit of a story behind them.

This is my third review for the DH Lawrence Challenge 2010.


An easily distracted Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on.

2 thoughts on “Rawdon’s Roof by DH Lawrence

  1. Thank you for posting this. Long time ago (around 1975) the English teacher used this story. We had to read it and he explained the ‘difficult’words and expressions. Homework was to be able to tell the story in your own words the next day. He enjoyed it that nobody really could till he called me to the front. I still remember this! somebody went ‘At Rawdon’s’ instead of going ‘to Rawdon’s house’. He was kind of disappointed that I used that expression!! Just now thought of searching for this and I didn’t really expect a result.. Soo: Thanks very much.

    1. PS: Got married later to an english speaking man… (Well, American.., but still)

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