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Encyclopedia > Thomas Bowdler

Thomas Bowdler (July 11, 1754February 24, 1825), an English physician, who published The Family Shakespeare, is best known as the source of the eponym bowdlerize (or bowdlerise[1]), the process of expurgation, censorship by removal, of material thought to be unacceptable to the intended audience, especially children or religious people. Examples would be replacing the f-word with the f-word, or by altogether removing the offending passage. July 11 is the 192nd day (193rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 173 days remaining. ... 1754 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1825 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the United Kingdom (light green), with the Republic of Ireland (blue) to its west Languages None official English de facto Capital None official London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked... An eponym is the name of a person, whether real or fictitious, which has (or is thought to have) given rise to the name of a particular place, tribe, discovery or other item. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


Bowdler was born near Bath, the son of a gentleman of independent means, studied medicine at St. Andrews and at Edinburgh, where he took his degree in 1776, but did not practice, devoting himself instead to the cause of prison reform. For other uses, see Bath (disambiguation). ... University of St Andrews The University of St Andrews was founded between 1410-1413 and is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the United Kingdom. ... The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... This article is about the year 1776. ...

He was a strong chess player for his day, and played a game against the best chess player of the time, François-André Danican Philidor [1], who was confident enough of his superiority to Bowdler that he gave odds. The first recorded game to feature a double Rook sacrifice was played between Bowdler (white) and H. Conway at London in 1788.[2] Chess is an abstract strategy board game for two players. ... portrait from L’analyze des échecs. ... Handicap in chess is a way to equal chances for players of different strengths. ... A rook (borrowed from Persian رخ rokh) is a piece in the strategy board game of chess. ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning to make sacred, from Old French, from Latin sacrificium : sacer, sacred; sacred + facere, to make) is commonly known as the...

In 1818, after retiring to the Isle of Wight, he published his Family Shakespeare in 10 volumes, in which he "endeavoured to remove every thing that could give just offence to the religious and virtuous mind" and "in which nothing is added to the original text, but those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family." The first edition of this text actually appeared in 1807 but was written by his sister Henrietta. It was, however, attributed to her brother until the twentieth century, since women were not expected to be able to identify anything which could give 'offence to the religious and virtuous mind.' 1818 (MDCCCXVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... The Isle of Wight is an English island, south of Southampton off the southern English coast. ... 1807 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...

An example of the Bowdlers' work can be seen in their version of Hamlet in which the death of Ophelia was euphemistically referred to as an accidental drowning rather than the deliberate suicide implied by Shakespeare. The work had considerable success, four editions having been published before 1824 (and others after his death, in 1831, 1853, and 1861). A detail of the engraving of Daniel Maclises 1842 painting The Play-scene in Hamlet, portraying the moment when the guilt of Claudius is revealed. ... Millais famous portrait of Ophelia Ophelia is the submissive daughter of Polonius, a chief advisor to the new King Claudius, in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Leopold I 1831 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ...

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. On the other hand, poet Algernon Swinburne said, "More nauseous and foolish cant was never chattered than that which would deride the memory or depreciate the merits of Bowdler. No man ever did better service to Shakespeare than the man who made it possible to put him into the hands of intelligent and imaginative children." Bowdler subsequently attempted to do the same with the works of historian Edward Gibbon, a project which was not as successful. Algernon Swinburne, Portrait by Rossetti Algernon Charles Swinburne (April 5, 1837 – April 10, 1909) was a Victorian era English poet. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

He later settled in south Wales, where he died, and is buried at Oystermouth in Swansea. His large library, consisting of volumes collected by his ancestors Thomas Bowdler (1638-1700) and Thomas Bowdler (1661-1738), was donated to the University of Wales, Lampeter. For an explanation of often confusing terms such as Great Britain, Britain, United Kingdom, England and Wales and England, see British Isles (terminology). ... Oystermouth is the name of an electoral ward and a village in the Mumbles community and also the City and County of Swansea, South Wales. ... Swansea (Welsh: Abertawe, mouth of the Tawe) is a city and county in South Wales, situated on the coast immediately to the east of the Gower Peninsula. ... A modern-style library in Chambéry In the traditional sense of the word, a library is a collection of books and periodicals. ... Events March 29 - Swedish colonists establish first settlement in Delaware, called New Sweden. ... Events January 1 - Russia accepts Julian calendar. ... Events January 6 - The fifth monarchy men unsuccessfully attempt to seize control of London. ... Events February 4 - Court Jew Joseph Suss Oppenheimer is executed in Württenberg April 15 - Premiere in London of Serse, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel. ... University of Wales, Lampeter Prifysgol Cymru, Llanbedr Pont Steffan   University of Wales, Lampeter (Welsh: Prifysgol Cymru, Llanbedr Pont Steffan) is a university in Lampeter, Wales, the oldest degree awarding institution in Wales, and the third oldest in England and Wales after Oxford and Cambridge. ...


  • 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.
    • note also 1992 extended edition - Nonpareil, Boston, 1992. ISBN 0-87923-861-5.


  1. ^ The "-ise" form is common in UK and Australian Englishes, "-ize" is used in American English and sometimes also in English English.

  Results from FactBites:
Thomas Bowdler - LoveToKnow 1911 (342 words)
THOMAS BOWDLER (1754-1825), editor of the "family" Shakespeare, younger son of Thomas Bowdler, a gentleman of independent fortune, was born at Ashley, near Bath, on the ath of July 1754.
Bowdler also expurgated Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (published posthumously, 1826); and he issued a selection from the Old Testament for the use of children.
From Bowdler's name we have the word to "bowdlerize," first known to occur in General Perronet Thompson's Letters of a Representative to his Constituents during the Session of 1836, printed in Thompson's Exercises, iv.
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Thomas Bowdler (780 words)
Thomas Bowdler (IPA /ˈbaʊdlə/) (July 11, 1754 – February 24, 1825) was an English physician who published an expurgate edition of William Shakespeare's work that he considered to be more appropriate than the original for women and children.
Bowdler was born near Bath, the son of a gentleman of independent means, and studied medicine at St.
Bowdler felt it would be worthwhile to present an edition which might be used in a family whose father was not a sufficiently "circumspect and judicious reader" to accomplish this expurgation himself.
  More results at FactBites »



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