S5 E1 Mollocking: Gibbons, ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ (1932)

A hilarious sketch on the novels of Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and DH Lawrence seems like an odd target for the censors. But the satire couldn’t cover up the contraceptive advice and sexual deviance.

First edition cover art. Yes, there are anthropomorphic cows in this novel.

S4 BONUS Fecundshite: Joyce ‘Ulysses’ (1922)

James Joyce went way beyond smut when he wrote Ulysses, an epic modernist masterpiece. The censorship history of Ulysses is as mind boggling as the author’s bloody-minded determination to offend. In a bizarre twist, this filthy book was never banned in Ireland.

Cover of the first edition

S4 E10 Unsuitable for Irish: bold books as Gaeilge

The scrutiny of the censor was confined to the English language. But works in Irish, the other language of the state, were also censored by editors, bureaucrats and catholic reactionaries. No language was allowed to explore scandalous ‘sex feelings’.

S4 E9 The McGahern Affair Part 2, the scandal

When The Dark was banned in 1965, John McGahern’s life changed dramatically. A story of vengeful clerics, useless unions and disinterested civil servants that stands as the greatest censorship scandal in modern Ireland.

First edition cover of The Dark (1965)

S4 E4 Torrid trash: Wheatley ‘To the Devil a Daughter’ (1953)

I had a lot of fun trashing this book with Cian from Wide Atlantic Weird podcast. Wheatley was a reactionary old racist who sold millions of books over a 40 year career. His influence on popular culture is probably underestimated. Partly thanks to him, naked women, candles and goat heads are visual short-hand for Satanism.

A cover from the 70’s, the famed ‘Tit’s Edition’