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

Expurgation, also known as bowdlerization, is a form of censorship that involves purging anything deemed noxious or offensive from an artistic work, or other type of writing of 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 order to make them more suitable for women and children.[1] He similarly edited Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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

Examples

Fahrenheit 451

Main article: Fahrenheit 451 § Expurgation

A student edition of the novel Fahrenheit 451 was expurgated to remove a variety of content. This was ironic given the subject matter of the novel involves burning books. This continued for a dozen years before it was brought to author Ray Bradbury's attention and he convinced the publisher to reinstate the material.

Religious

Sexual

Racial

Cursing

Political

Other

See also

References

  1. ^ "Censorship" (PDF).
  2. ^ Popper, William (1889). The Censorship of Hebrew Books. Knickerbocker Press. pp. 13–14.
  3. ^ a b Frederick J. Furnivall, ed. (1867). Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript: loose and humorous songs. London. p. 100.
  4. ^ "The Crabfish".
  5. ^ "Crayfish".
  6. ^ Bussacco, Michael C. (2009). Heritage Press Sandglass Companion Book: 1960–1983. Tribute Books (Archibald, Penn.). p. 252. ISBN 9780982256510. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  7. ^ Curtis, Jack (February 17, 2008). "Blood from Oil". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  8. ^ Sinclair, Mary Craig (1957). Southern Belle. New York: Crown Publishers. p. 309. ISBN 9781578061525. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  9. ^ Tomasky, Michael (January 7, 2011). "The New Huck Finn". The Guardian. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  10. ^ I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 156-8.
  11. ^ Smith, Caspar Llewellyn (2010-11-14). "Cee Lo Green: 'I've been such an oddball my whole life' | Q&A". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-10-10.