Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Writers, Readers, and ReputationsLiterary Life in Britain 1870-1918$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip Waller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

Pricking Censorship

Pricking Censorship

(p.975) 27 Pricking Censorship
Writers, Readers, and Reputations

Philip Waller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines writers' attitudes to censorship, particularly in regard to their treatment of sexual relations. It begins by outlining reactions to D. H. Lawrence's difficulties in publishing Sons and Lovers (1913) and The Rainbow (1915). An assumption that all agreed on the desirability of complete freedom of expression is wrong: both friends and admirers of Lawrence were disturbed and offended by his apparent obsession with sex. The chapter goes on to consider previous publications which excited outrage and, in certain instances, led to their being banned by public libraries or by the leading subscription libraries — Mudie's, W. H. Smith's, and Boot's — whose policy is discussed. Writers who encountered censure include Hall Caine, Thomas Hardy, Compton Mackenzie, W.B. Maxwell, George Moore, and H. G.Wells. The question arises why their work should have been deemed improper when others such as Elinor Glyn's passionate romances apparently did not. The particular problems confronting writers for the stage, because of the censorship of plays by the Lord Chamberlain's office, is illuminated through Hall Caine's evidence before the parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Censorship in 1909. Finally, changing attitudes over the period are considered, and how writers and publishers mostly policed themselves through self-censorship and self-restraint.

Keywords:   censorship, libraries, censorship of plays, attitudes

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .