Is it a book about a promiscuous wife, a pilgrimage or queer life in 1960s Ireland? Banned for indecency and blasphemy, Broderick’s novel is a multi-layered text.
S2 E7 Bestial Behaviour: Endore, ‘The Werewolf of Paris’ (1933)
Endore combined violence and blasphemy in this classic of the werewolf genre. It’s impossible to know whether the radical politics or freaky sex most offended the censor.
S2 E6: Love, not Sex: Wallace, ‘The Chapman Report’ (1960)
America was horrified when the Kinsey report showed women were capable of sexual misbehaviour. Wallace’s book trashed Kinsey but it still too sexy for the Irish censor.
S2 E5: Lesbionic Lit: Highsmith, ‘Carol’ (1952)
Is it a subversive lesbian romance or a psychological thriller? The hetronormative censor saw a dangerous text with a ‘general tendency to deprave’.
S2 E4 Evil Contraception: Marie Stopes, ‘Married Love’ (1918)
Marie Stopes’ advocacy of contraception was radial in 1918 but it was 1980 before the Irish public could read her sex manual.
S2 E3 Pure filth: JP Donleavy, ‘The Ginger Man’ (1955)
Was it literature or porn? With sex on nearly every page, it wasn’t surprising this Irish novel was banned for decades. Sebastian Dangerfield is as dirty and unwashed as he is filthy minded.
S2 E2 Thrusting Ecstasy: Anais Nin, ‘A Spy in the House of Love’ (1954)
If you like florid descriptions of sex spiced with psychoanalysis, this is the book for you. Unfortunately, it is not my kind of book.
S2 E1 A lot of ridin’: Keane, ‘Two Days in Aragon’ (1942)
A Big House novel where ordered tennis parties are subverted by fucking in the fields and bondage in the basement. You’d never think it from the cover, would you?
S1 E10 Murdoch, ‘The Flight from the Enchanter’ (1956): Freaky Foreigners
Why is so hard to find sex in a book saturated with sex? Trigger-happy censors overestimated the filth in this rich and inventive novel.
S1 E9 Huxley, ‘Point Counter Point’ (1928): amoral sex
One of the first books banned by the censor, this modernist classic is full of indecent and obscene ideas about sex.