Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Timeline shows the where and why of history's most contentious reads, from Lolita to Charlotte's Web

banned.jpg

A new infographic sheds light on the murky and often ridiculous world of book censorship.

Throughout history, great and classic works of literature have been subject to suppression.

Vladimir Nabokov's provocative tale of a middle-aged scholar's obsession with a 12-year-old "nymphet" in Lolita created a firestorm of controversy and was banned in Britain from 1955-1959.

But the author fared better than poor old D.H. Lawrence, whose erotic masterpiece Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned in the UK on the grounds of obscenity for over thirty years; although it immediately sold out after Penguin won a landmark court case for publication in 1968. 

Charlotte's Web; "blasphemous and unnatural"?

Charlotte's Web; "blasphemous and unnatural"?

Other books have faced blackouts on religious or political grounds. George Orwell's Animal Farm is still banned in various countries, including Cuba and North Korea, for its allegorical critique of communism. 

And the graphic violence of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis means it cannot be sold in the Australian state of Queensland, although of course, it's widely available via public libraries and the internet. 

Even children's books have come under fire, often on the most tenuous pretexts. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White may seem like a moving story of a talking pig and spider but a school district in Kansas once believed it to be "blasphemous and unnatural". While L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz apparently "brings children's minds to a cowardly level". And Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss was banned for 26 years for its portrayal of Marxism.  

The infographic casts light on these and other banned books, with a timeline that shows exactly where and why they were restricted. Come see the fascinating history behind history's most contended reads with this design from printerinks.com below:

Banned books

Related

hero.jpg

Addictive page-turners to chomp through in one weekend or less

HQ4585-001.jpg

Bestselling books written in under six weeks

zadie smith.jpg

Female authors who nailed their biggest bestseller under the age of 30

rexfeatures_665908f.jpg

The all-time most popular books in the world revealed

rexfeatures_950188a.jpg

The best new book releases of 2015

500045637.jpg

Ten of the biggest and best books of 2014

Comments

More

This is why we’re not reading as much as we want to

Even if we won’t admit it

by Hayley Spencer
27 Apr 2017

Bookworms, there’s a Japanese word for people who buy too many books

Commit this to memory, bibliophiles...

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

12 of the best translated books to broaden your literary horizons

It's time to stray a little further afield...

by Scarlett Cayford
27 Apr 2017

The best new books to read in May 2017

It's going to be a wonderful month for bookworms...

by Sarah Shaffi
27 Apr 2017

Join us at the Emerald Street Literary Festival

The perfect Saturday for interesting women

by The Stylist web team
24 Apr 2017

Backlash as star says The Handmaid's Tale is “not a feminist story”

"It’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Apr 2017

Elisabeth Moss on why you shouldn't binge watch The Handmaid's Tale

"You may need a second to step back and think about what you’ve seen"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Exclusive: young mother who escaped Boko Haram shares her story

"I had to be prepared for the worst at all times."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Apr 2017

Margaret Atwood has penned a brand-new ending for The Handmaid’s Tale

And she’s hinted at a sequel, too…

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Apr 2017

Witherspoon & Kidman are already planning a Big Little Lies follow-up

They have optioned a second Liane Moriarty book.

by Hayley Spencer
05 Apr 2017