The Rainbow was followed by a sequel in 1920, Women in Love. Although Lawrence conceived of the two novels as one, considering the titles The Sisters and The Wedding Ring for the work, they were published as two separate novels at the urging of his publisher. However, after the negative public reception of The Rainbow, Lawrence's publisher opted out of publishing the sequel.
Ursula's spiritual and emotional quest continues in Women in Love, in which she continues to be a main character. This second work follows her into a relationship with Rupert Birkin (often seen as a self-portrait by Lawrence), and follows her sister, Gudrun's parallel relationship with Birkin's friend, Gerald Crich.