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Famous writers faced fierce opposition to their brand of literature in many countries

DH Lawrences novel Lady Chatterleys Lover was banned. Picture: Getty

DH Lawrences novel Lady Chatterleys Lover was banned. Picture: Getty

SOME of the best-known works in literature have fallen foul of censors, politicians and governments over the years.

There are also some surprising entries in the list of books than ran into trouble for political, religious or moral reasons.

Doctor Zhivago, Ulysses, Alice in Wonderland, Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird are among those that have been outlawed at some point since publication.

Ulysses, James Joyce’s famous novel, was banned in the UK until the 1930s due to its strong sexual content.

DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the subject of several obscenity trials in both the UK and US in the run-up to the 1960s.

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has regularly run into problems in US schools due to hotly-disputed claims that it is racially insensitive.

English novelist John Cleland’s prostitution tale Fanny Hill, first published in 1748, is arguably the most prosecuted book in history. It was finally cleared of obscenity charges in the US in 1966.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was banned by the authorities in China for putting animals on the same level as humans.

Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago was outlawed in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s due to its criticism of the Bolsheviks.

The same fate struck George Orwell’s Animal Farm for its perceived anti-Soviet sentiments.

Some of the more famous recent examples include the Da Vinci Code, which was banned in Lebanon after being deemed offensive to Christianity.

Salman Rushdie ran into huge problems after his 1988 book The Satanic Verses was accused of blasphemy and was banned in Bangladesh, Egypt, India and Iran, with the author also receiving death threats.

Peter Wright’s Spycatcher autobiography faced a ban by the UK government even before it was published for revealing official secrets, although the court order was famously not able to be enforced in Scotland.

BRIAN FERGUSON

 

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