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  • Location: Nottingham, Metz, Munich

Frieda: a novel of the real Lady Chatterley

Frieda: a novel of the real Lady Chatterley

Why a Booktrail?

1907 – 1912: The extraordinary story of Frieda von Richthofen, wife of D. H. Lawrence and the real-life inspiration for Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

  • ISBN: 978-1529300185
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

Germany 1907.

Aristocrat Frieda von Richthofen has rashly married English professor Ernest Weekley. Visiting her sisters in Munich, she is captivated by a city alive with ideas of revolution and free love, and, goaded by sibling rivalry with her sisters and the need to be more than mother and wife, Frieda embarks on a passionate affair that is her sensual and intellectual awakening.

England, 1912

Trapped in her marriage to Ernest, Frieda meets the penniless but ambitious younger writer D. H. Lawrence. Their scandalous affair and tempestuous relationship unleashes a creative outpouring that changes the course of literature forever. But for Frieda, this fulfilment comes at the terrible personal cost of home and family.

Travel Guide

The remarkable true to life story of Frieda – the inspiration behind Mrs Chatterley of the DH Lawrence novel.

The novel takes place in Nottingham, Metz and Munich


The novel starts here with the unhappy marriage of Frieda and her husband. It’s where she is encouraged to move to Munich for a while and practice the free-love people in that city, including her sister Elizabeth, are enjoying.

An affair takes her to the woods of Sherwood Forest and other parks and hidden areas around the city. With the literary heritage of Maid Marian and the helpless maid at the beck and call of a man being played out, Frieda’s life feels more free and wanton.

DH Lawrence, the man who she becomes involved with was born and bred in the northern city and you can visit his house where he was born which is now a museum


Only a short stay here as Frieda explores the city as well as her sexuality


The city apparently of free love and whatever you fancy. It all seems to be centered around the famous or infamous Cafe Stefanie which is a hit with intellectuals and creatives but which is also the place where Frieda and her lover meet.

The cafe Stefanie heaved and thrummed. Men in smocks and smoking jackets drank coffee and read newspapers Women in velvet mantels and lederhosen, their hair lose, talked over  slices of marble cake”

This is the city where rebellion and free love are Frieda’s best friends and something she can never fully know in Nottingham. The city of free love is where “Lovers are discarded like broken jewelry”

Streetview Maps

C) England - Nottingham - DH Lawrence Brithplace
I) Germany - Munich - Cafe Stefanie - Amalienstraße

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

A novel  which brings to life someone in history I had never really thought about before – the woman who was the real Lady Chatterly

I’ve read the novels of DH Lawrence and often wondered about the attitudes of the time regarding sexuality and relationships and there’s no doubt in this novel what is acceptable in that regard and how times are changing. It’s interesting to see Frieda’s change as she goes to Munich and then meets DH Lawrence. The rest they say is history….

Despite the locations, the novel is of course very character driven and there are a few view points although Frieda is quick to tell you what she is thinking and feeling in her own voice. Of course, with modern attitudes, the wish to be free from a stifling marriage is no shock, but in her day, the way in which this free-love and wanton abandon is not just encouraged but promoted –  and by her sister – is shocking in its own way.

This was a fascinating way to delve into the lives of real characters who had a huge influence on today’s literary scene. We’re all familiar with the book Lady Chatterly’s lover and the scandal it caused at the time. Now we get to see , or at least imagine, just how that might have happened. Although a little dense and slow paced at times, this is an interesting novel.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: Frieda: a novel of the real Lady Chatterley

Destination : Nottingham,  Metz, Munich  Author/Guide: Annabel Abbs  Departure Time:1907 – 1912

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