Sons and Lovers Historical Context

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Lawrence's novel begins in 1885 and ends in 1911, roughly following the outline of Lawrence's own life. During that time, British miners battled their capitalist bosses for better pay and safer working conditions. However, large swings in demand for coal contributed to industry instability, and it was common for miners' unions to be rewarded a raise one year and presented with a cut in salary the next. As the rate of industrialization increased, so did the gap between rich and poor. Nowhere was this gap more apparent than in the difference between how the miners lived and how the owners of the mines lived. Lawrence's father, on whom Walter Morel is based, began working in the mines when he was ten years old. A typical week for him consisted of six twelve-hour days, with only two paid holidays a year. One way out of the danger and poverty...

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This section contains 527 words
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Buy the Sons and Lovers Study Guide
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