For the first time on the podcast, it’s a publication that’s still banned in Ireland! According to Register of Prohibited Publications, Health and Efficiency is ‘unwholesome literature’. Naturally, we want to know precisely how this magazine is corrupting and degrading its readers. With Prof Annebella Pollen.
S8 E6 Seedy: Graham Greene ‘Stamboul Train’ (1932)
A train that could whisk its passengers across borders and into each other’s arms was definitely too dangerous for the censors. With Juliette Breton.
S8 E5 Primitives: Walter Macken ‘Quench the Moon’ (1948)
When Walter Macken dedicated his first novel to his Mammy, Agnes, he did not expect the censors to declare it ‘obscene’. How does a social-problem novel by a good Catholic offend the official arbiters of taste?
S8 E4 Seconal Days: Jacqueline Susann ‘Valley of the Dolls’ (1966)
Hailed as ‘Dirty Book of the Month’ by Time in 1966, this novel was an instant bestseller. But not in Ireland, where it was illegal to sell it between 1967 and 1979. What does this classic of women’s fiction have to say about feminism, sex and medicine? With Dr Cara Rodway.
S8 E3 Seductive: Stella Gibbons ‘Nightingale Wood’ (1938)
This is the first banned book I’ve read that features both a foot fetish and communism. Gibbons writes satire so entrancing it’s can be hard to spot the filth but if the censors could do it, so could we. Or maybe the bewitching Englishness of the novel was too dangerous? With Dr Laura Ludtke.
S8 E2 Thrilling: ‘True Detective Mysteries’
Hundreds of magazine titles were banned by the Irish censor. This true-crime periodical, full of murder and gangsterism, couldn’t avoid being banned for discussing crime. But advertising ‘daring’ and ‘frank’ books didn’t help either.
S8 E1 Lust: Maura Laverty ‘Alone We Embark’ (1942)
When Maura Laverty gently pointed out that Irish villages simmered with perverted lust, her novel was immediately censored.
S7 Summer Bonus episode
The Bishop and the Nightie: censure in television
The most memorable scandals in Irish life feature a fulminating bishop and this is no exception. This brief controversy is infamous but why do we find it so compelling? Dr Morgan Wait joins me to talk about television and titillation in 1960s Ireland.Mastodon
S7 E11 Playing politics: censure in theatres
Theatre riots might capture the imagination but audiences, critics and authority figures shape theatre in other less dramatic ways. Guest Dr Barry Houlihan talks about his new book Theatre and archival memory: Irish drama and marginalised histories 1951-77 (2022)
S7 E10 Morally healthy: censure in libraries
A tour of the maze of committees that controlled who read what in Irish public libraries. Public libraries were one of the most important sources of reading material for ordinary people.