With news that Lady Chatterley’s lover is getting another makeover
TEN TOP BOOKS THAT HAVE BEEN FAMOUSLY BANNED
why are we obesessed with lady chatterley – if you can’t have it, you want it more?
we just can’t get enough of the scandal
Lady Chatterley’s Lover is one of the most famous and enduring novels of all time – but is that more for the scandal it caused than for the power of its story? It doesn’t appear in the classic Top 100 lists and yet has been adapted more for theatre, TV and film than many of those that do – and now we’re to have yet another attempt at a screen version with The Crown’s Emma Corrin following in the steps of Joely Richardson, Holliday Grainger and Syliva Kristal (yes, the porn star), in playing the titular Lady of the Manor who finds her real self in the earthy reality of her relationship with the working class gardener. Will we get a fresh feel from Life of Pi’s screenwriter David McGee, or will his touch fall short, like most of those before him? We will have to wait and see.
Not all those that are banned are because the arbiters of decency are offended, sometimes the reasons are even darker, censorship for political and religious reasons have serious repercussions on our freedom. Here are 9 other voices that have felt the effects of others trying to silence them. Dare you to resist…
Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Sons And Lovers, Women in Love and The Rainbow will be in our 100+ Classics download pack – over 200 hours of reading for just £19.
BOOKS THAT CAUSED A STIR
LOLITA: vladimir nabokov
Reason for ban| Obscenity
Savage humour laces this story of a poet obsessed with a 12 year-old he wants to seduce. Humbert Humbert pursues Lolita to possess her. Filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1962 starring James Mason and Peter Sellers, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne starring Jeremy Irons and Melanie Griffith, Lolita has lost none of its power to shock and awe.
the grapes of wrath: JOHN STEINBECK
REASON FOR BAN| TELLS A BRUTAL TRUTH
Damned for revealing the brutal reality of migrants in the United States during the depression, officials incited locals to burn the book even though it revealed their plight. It’s depiction of the painful truth eventually forced political change. Adapted in 1940 for the big screen by John Ford, the movie starring Henry Fonda was a huge critical success, named then as one of the Top 50 films of all time.
american psycho: brett easton ellis
REASON FOR BAN | BRUTALITY AND OBSCENITY
Definitely not for the squeamish, this is a brutally explicit exploration of depravity in all senses. Although it expands into satire, the scenes that lead there are shocking in the extreme. The book is still sold with an age warning in many places. Adapted for the screen with Christian Bale in the lead role – an anti superhero is there ever was one.
the well of loneliness: radclyffe hall
REASON FOR BAN | HOMOSEXUALITY
If there was ever a piece of literature against which the reaction was utterly disproportionate, The Well of Loneliness must be it! The painfully melancholic story of a woman who struggles with her identity and sexuality, this book was the subject of a trial to have it banned – despite having no explicit content and only the hint of a love scene.
animal farm: george orwell
REASON FOR BAN | ANTI COMMUNIST
Orwell’s story of a group of animals who rebel against their human farmer master seeking equality and freedom, is a clear metaphorical criticism of communism – and is still banned in North Korea, even though the animals are ultimately defeated and fall under the rule of a pig called Napolean. There’s no justice. Adapted several times for the small screen, the 1999 version had a particularly star-studded voice-over cast with Kelsey Grammar, Ian Holm, Peter Ustinov, Julia Loui-Dreyfus and Patrick Stewart
the colour purple: alice walker
REASON FOR BAN | MULTIPLE
A deeply compassionate and epic story of a journey from oppression to freedom, The Colour Purple has been banned for many years particularly in the states, where many reasons have been cited for objecting to its content including obscenity, religion, homosexuality and graphic violence. Despite this it is also hailed as an inspirational life-changing story and its screen adaptation with Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey earned 11 Academy Award nominations.
all quiet on the western front: eric maria remarque
REASON FOR BAN | ANTI WAR
The Nazis were famed for their book burning during the war and Remarque’s truthful and shockingly realistic depiction of the reality of the front lines came in for more criticism than most. Compelling and hard hitting, the story of this unknown solider is as powerful as ever. Adapted for a TV movie with Ernest Borgnine and Donald Pleasance in 1979.
tropic of cancer: henry miller
REASON FOR BAN | OBSCENITY
The subject of at least 60 law suits, Henry Miller’s story of decadence was banned for being pornographic in many countries including the UK and US, for over 30 years. Ultimately hailed for its contribution to liberation, the book was eventually given approval as a work of literature. Adapted a number of times for the screen, perhaps most famously in 1970 with Ellen Burstyn and Rip Torn.
the catcher in the rye: J D Salinger
REASON FOR BAN | INCITING IMMORALITY
Tell a teenager they shouldn’t read something because it’s bad for them – and what will they do? The most banned and also the second most taught book in US schools. The bible of teenage angst splits people between those who believe it is an aid to dealing with the issues – and those who believe it incites them.