Thursday, April 5, 2007
D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1959 first uncensored edition): "In fact, the most notorious censored works had been books like D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, which contained neither photographs nor depictions of unusual sexual acts. (An obscenity ruling against Radclyffe Hall's lesbian classic, The Well of Loneliness, had made it unavailable to the public until 1948.) In particular, Lady Chatterley's Lover had been 'offensive' because of values that no longer held in society: the once scandalous suggestion of a sexual relationship between a working-class man and a woman of higher status. But attempts to revive the book later met with other objections — the explicit sexual language was considered by some to be unacceptable (particularly if seen by 'your' wife or servants). Nevertheless, it was generally felt that the inclusion of explicit sexual descriptions was not by itself sufficient reason to ban a book that had other literary merit, and this exception was written into the 1959 Act, although that otherwise strengthened the law and made seizures by the police much easier." –Carol Avedon and Lee Kennedy, Nudes and Prudes: Pornography and Censorship.