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

More

Practical Magic is FINALLY getting the prequel of your dreams

Flip the switch and let the cauldron bubble…

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Sep 2017

The Moomins are coming back to TV and the cast is incredible

Ready your Little My topknots

by Amy Swales
12 Sep 2017

Your £10 note is worth a LOT of money if it features this tiny detail

Oh Jane Austen, you’re spoiling us…

by Kayleigh Dray
12 Sep 2017

The Fifty Shades Freed trailer has arrived – and it’s pretty dark

Mrs Grey will see you now

by Amy Swales
11 Sep 2017

10 brilliant books to curl up with this September

From gripping crime fiction to beautiful poetry

by Sarah Shaffi
01 Sep 2017

Puberty guide causes fury with “problematic” explanation of breasts

The book said girls have breasts to make them look “grown-up and attractive”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
30 Aug 2017

The 5 biggest plot holes in Harry Potter, as exposed by fans

Accio problematic plot points!

by Susan Devaney
30 Aug 2017

50 unmissable books to kickstart your autumn reading

Your first look at the essential titles for autumn 2017

by Francesca Brown
25 Aug 2017

The 10 must-read books for anyone with siblings

There's often nothing more page-turning than the secrets between siblings

by Stylist
23 Aug 2017

St. Vincent is giving this iconic novel a feminist film makeover

The musician is giving an Oscar Wilde project a major twist

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017