Objective 1: To look at the history of censorship, referencing earliest examples of censorship worldwide.

Crimean War

Goldberg, V. (2004) When the shooting started: a century and a half ago, Britain’s Roger Fenton pioneered the art of war photography.(Indelible Images). Smithsonian, (7). Available from: <http://ezproxy.leedsmet.ac.uk/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.126121237&site=eds-live&scope=site&gt; [Accessed 27 November 2013].

”THE CRIMEAN WAR, when British, French and Turkish and for the first time newspaper reporters and photographers troops united to invade the Crimea in 1854 and take the naval covered the conflict”

”for the first time newspaper reporters and photographers covered the conflict”

”Henry Pelham-Clinton, who had reason to show the conflict in a better light.”

”By the time Fenton reached the Crimea, in March, conditions were somewhat better; new supplies, Nightingale and her cadre of nurses, and spring had all arrived. Still, he saw terrible sights: wounded and dead men; half-buried skeletons; the harbor and encampments littered with rotting animal carcasses. He never photographed any of it. Victorian taste might have been offended, Victorian purchasers unwilling to buy”

Grant, S. (2005) A Terrible Beauty. Tate Etc., (5), pp.58–61.

”In 1855 Roger Fenton took a photograph that became an iconic image of the Crimean War. ”

”As Victorian taste decreed that no dead bodies be shown, Fenton had to choose his subject matter carefully”

”He had arrived at what the soldiers had christened The Valley of the Shadow of Death — the name taken from the 23rd Psalm, and so called on account of the number of Russian cannonballs that landed short of their targets. To the troops and the hordes of tourists that travelled to the Crimea to watch the war, it was a well-known spot. One officer, Sir John Burgoyne, noted that the place “is a thing I always recommend an amateur to go and look at”

”I picked it up, put it into the van & hope to make you a present of it”

Victorian censorship

Marvin, R.M. (2001) The Censorship of Verdi’s Operas in Victorian London. Music & Letters, 82 (4), pp.582–610.

”VERDI EXPERIENCE DIFFICULTIES with censorship of his opera plots for much of his career because of the religious elements, the politically charged subjects and the socially relevant issues essential to his dramaturgical ideals.”
” In general, the object was principally to exclude any scriptural subject, or plays in which highway men or immorality are exalted”
” The Lord Chamberlain . . . should licence any play submitted to him unless he considers it may reasonably be held:
  • To be indecent
  • To contain offensive personalities
  • To represent on the stage in an invidious manner a living person or a person recently dead
  • To do violence to the sentiment of religious reverence
  • To be calculated to conduce crime or vice
  • To be calculated to impair friendly relations with any foreign power or
  • to be calculated to cause a breach of the peace.”

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Yagoda, B. (2010) Trial and Eros: When ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ ran afoul of Britain’s 1959 obscenity law, the resulting case had a cast worthy of P. G. Wodehouse. American Scholar, 79 (4), pp.93–101.

”Lady Chatterley’s Lover ran afoul of Britain’s 1959 obscenity law,”

”Penguin Books was tried in the Old Bailey for having attempted to bring out a paperback edition of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which had been banned since its 1928 publication”

”It was not only the most sexually explicit novel Lawrence ever wrote, it is probably the most sexually explicit novel ever by a canonical author.”

“The word ‘fuck’ or ‘fucking’ occurs no less than 30 times.… ‘Cunt’ 14 times; “balls’ 13 times; ‘shit’ and ‘arse’ six times apiece; ‘cock’ four times; ‘piss’ three times, and so on.”

”Since 1868, obscenity had been a common-law offence” (In Britain)

”The certain controversy over Chatterley would offer the kind of publicity that cannot be bought. Penguin envisioned a 200,000 first printing.”

Clee, N. (2008) The battle over censorship: from Victorian moralising to supporting the unexpurgated Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Bookseller gradually changed its stance.(CELEBRATING 150 YEARS: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION). The Bookseller, (5337), p.72.

”the paper took the line that censorship was justified only when “its necessity is obvious to all decent and reasonable people”

Alberge, D. (1997) Lawrence letters show his despair over Lady Chatterley censorship. The Times. Available from: <http://www.lexisnexis.com.ezproxy.leedsmet.ac.uk/uk/nexis/search/homesubmitForm.do&gt;.

”AN IMPORTANT series of letters to a close friend in which D.H. Lawrence expresses despair at the controversy surrounding his last novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover and rage at the censoring of his paintings is to be sold.”

” In a letter of April 1928, he suggests that a boy of 16 would be “too bored” by Lady Chatterley – the first book to be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act – but recommends that at 20, “he should read it”. But he ac knowledges that teenagers are far from uninterested in the subject: “Was your mind a sexual blank at sixteen? Is anybody’s?”

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