S5 E3 All the antis: Shatter ‘Laura’ (1989)

A bestseller in 1989, nobody took any offense at this slim novel by a prominent politician and solicitor until 2013. A silly, weird and revealing referral of ‘Laura’ the censorship board led to some interesting political gymnastics.

In spite of the tagline, it’s not that memorable.

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 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’