The Family Shakespeare, Thomas Bowdler's famous reworked edition of William Shakespeare's plays. 1818

An expurgation of a work, also known as a bowdlerization or fig-leaf edition, is a form of censorship that involves purging anything deemed noxious or offensive from an artistic work or other type of writing or media.

The term bowdlerization is a pejorative term for the practice, particularly the expurgation of lewd material from books. The term derives from Thomas Bowdler's 1818 edition of William Shakespeare's plays, which he reworked in ways that he felt were more suitable for women and children.[1] He similarly edited Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.[2]

A fig-leaf edition is a more satirical term for a bowdlerized text, deriving from the practice of covering the genitals of nudes in classical and Renaissance statues and paintings with fig leaves.








See also


  1. ^ Wheeler, Kip. "Censorship and Bowdlerization" (PDF). Jefferson City, Tennessee, USA: Carson-Newman University. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  2. ^ Gibbon, Edward (1826). Gibbon's History of the decline and fall of the Roman empire, repr. with the omission of all passages of an irreligious or immoral tendency, by T. Bowdler. pp. i, iii.
  3. ^ Popper, William (May 1889). The Censorship of Hebrew Books (1st ed.). New Rochelle, New York, USA: Knickerbocker Press. pp. 13–14. OCLC 70322240. OL 23428412M.
  4. ^ Greenfield, Jeanette (26 January 1996). The Return of Cultural Treasures. England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-47746-8.
  5. ^ Carus, Paul (1925). The Open Court. Open Court Publishing Company.
  6. ^ a b Frederick J. Furnivall, ed. (1867). Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript: loose and humorous songs. London. p. 100.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ Feierabend, John M. (1 April 2004). The Crabfish. Illustrated by Vincent Ngyen. Gia Publications. ISBN 9781579993832. OCLC 59550589.
  8. ^ "The Crayfish". Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  9. ^ Bussacco, Michael C. (2009). Heritage Press Sandglass Companion Book: 1960–1983. Tribute Books (Archibald, Penn.). p. 252. ISBN 9780982256510. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  10. ^ Curtis, Jack (17 February 2008). "Blood from Oil". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts, USA. ISSN 0743-1791. OCLC 66652431. Archived from the original on 11 July 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  11. ^ Sinclair, Mary Craig (1957). Southern Belle. New York: Crown Publishers. p. 309. ISBN 9781578061525. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  12. ^ Lyngstad, Sverre (2005). Knut Hamsun, Novelist: A Critical Assessment. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-0-8204-7433-5.
  13. ^ Tomasky, Michael (7 January 2011). "The New Huck Finn". The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group. ISSN 1756-3224. OCLC 60623878. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  14. ^ Lowenthal, David (October 2015). The Past is a Foreign Country - Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85142-8.
  15. ^ Fulton, Joe B. (1997). Mark Twain's Ethical Realism: The Aesthetics of Race, Class, and Gender. University of Missouri Press. ISBN 978-0-8262-1144-6.
  16. ^ Bunson, Matthew (2000). The Complete Christie: An Agatha Christie Encyclopedia. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-02831-2.
  17. ^ Marshall, Elizabeth; Sensoy, Özlem (2011). Rethinking Popular Culture and Media. Rethinking Schools. ISBN 978-0-942961-48-5.
  18. ^ Opie, Iona; Opie, Peter. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (2nd ed.). England: Oxford University Press. pp. 156–8. ISBN 0198600887. OL 432879M. Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  19. ^ Rehak, Melanie (2005). Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her (1st ed.). Harcourt, Orlando, Florida, USA: Harvest (published 2006). p. 243. ISBN 9780156030564. OCLC 769190422. OL 29573540M. Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  20. ^ Pourciau, Lester J.; Press, Purdue University (1999). Ethics and Electronic Information in the Twenty-first Century. Purdue University Press. ISBN 978-1-55753-138-4.
  21. ^ Ng, Jason (27 August 2013). Blocked on Weibo: What Gets Suppressed on ChinaÕs Version of Twitter (And Why). New Press, The. ISBN 978-1-59558-871-5.
  22. ^ Wikipedia, Source (September 2013). Internet Censorship: Content-Control Software, History of Wikipedia, Wikileaks, 2010-2011 Middle East and North Africa Protests, Criticism of Facebook. General Books. ISBN 978-1-230-60168-7.
  23. ^ Smith, Caspar Llewellyn (14 November 2010). "Cee Lo Green: 'I've been such an oddball my whole life' | Q&A". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  24. ^ "South Park: The Fractured But Whole was originally called South Park: The Butthole of Time". 25 July 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  25. ^ "'South Park: The Fractured But Whole' game – everything you need to know". NME. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  26. ^ Rawlinson, Kevin; Banfield-Nwachi, Mabel; Shaffi, Sarah (20 February 2023). "Rishi Sunak joins criticism of changes to Roald Dahl books". The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group. ISSN 1756-3224. OCLC 60623878. Archived from the original on 21 February 2023. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  27. ^ Haring, Bruce (26 February 2023). "James Bond Books Edited To Avoid Offense To Modern Audiences – Report". Deadline. USA: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 February 2023. Retrieved 26 February 2023.