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

Roxane Gay slams publisher for offering book deal to far-right troll

“Alt-right” internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is not a good guy.

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Margaret Atwood has a new warning about The Handmaid’s Tale

“You think you’re a liberal democracy and then – bang – you’re Hitler’s Germany”

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

JK Rowling humiliates Piers Morgan as he falls into her Twitter trap

Talk about fantastic tweets and where to find them…

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

JK Rowling utterly annihilates Piers Morgan for defending Trump

“The downside of sucking up to the biggest bully in school is getting burned alive”

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Feb 2017

The daily writing routine of best-selling author JoJo Moyes

Coffee, people-watching and Scrabble

by Sarah Biddlecombe
10 Feb 2017

Memoirs and marriage: the new books to perk up February

This month's best new releases

by Sarah Shaffi
10 Feb 2017

Quiz: which feminist literary heroine are you?

Are you a Matilda Wormwood, a Hermione Granger, or someone else completely?

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Feb 2017

Why every woman needs a classic trashy book club

Plus 10 raunchy, retro and ridiculous novels to get you started, as chosen by American Housewife author Helen Ellis.

09 Feb 2017

The ‘real’ Darcy has been revealed – and he's nothing like Colin Firth

The Georgian ideal look is rather different to today's

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Feb 2017

Watch the new trailer for Anne of Green Gables adaptation on Netflix

And Netflix has made one big change to the classic children’s book…

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Feb 2017