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Encyclopedia > Bowdlerized

Thomas Bowdler (July 11, 1754February 24, 1825), an English physician, has become (in)famous as the editor of a children's edition of William Shakespeare, the Family Shakespeare, in which he "endeavoured to remove every thing that could give just offence to the religious and virtuous mind." For example, the death of Ophelia in drowning rather than the deliberate suicide implied by Shakespeare.


His name lives on in the eponym bowdlerization (adjective bowdlerized), to describe the process of censorship by arbitrary deletion of "objectionable" material from a work of literature to "purify" it, rather than banning the work outright.


Bowdler was neither the first nor the last to prepare such "pure" or "school" editions of books. An early approach, beginning around the 1780s, was the production of selections from an author's work, chosen by an editor to be inoffensive.


Bowdler produced the work for which he is famous after retiring to the Isle of Wight. He later settled in south Wales where he died, and is buried at Oystermouth near Swansea.


References

  • Dr. Bowdler's Legacy: a history of expurgated books in England and America, by Noel Perrin. David R. Godine, Boston, 1969. ISBN 0-87923-861-5.





  Results from FactBites:
 
Thomas Bowdler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (517 words)
Bowdler was born near Bath, the son of a gentleman of independent means, studied medicine at St.
An example of the Bowdler's work can be seen in their version of Hamlet in which the death of Ophelia in Hamlet was euphemistically referred to as an accidental drowning rather than the deliberate suicide implied by Shakespeare.
This expurgation was the subject of some criticism and ridicule, and although Bowdler was not the first to undertake such a project, it permanently associated his name with the process as a negative example.
Encyclopedia4U - Thomas Bowdler - Encyclopedia Article (263 words)
His name lives on in the eponym bowdlerization (adjective bowdlerized), to describe the process of censorship by arbitrary deletion of "objectionable" material from a work of literature to "purify" it, rather than banning the work outright.
Bowdler was neither the first nor the last to prepare such "pure" or "school" editions of books.
Bowdler produced the work for which he is famous after retiring to the Isle of Wight.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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