Topical Guide 136
Literature: Bowdlerization of, Simplification of, Trivialization of, Infantilization of
MRS. GRAHAM’S FIRST SUGGESTION was that I read King Lear. I did. The school used a simplified, abbreviated, optimistic adaptation called The Story of King Lear and His Daughters, published as part of a series called Classics Made Suitable for Boys and Girls.
Little Follies, “The Girl with the White Fur Muff”
Thomas Bowdler, … 11 July 1754 – 24 February 1825 was an English physician known for publishing The Family Shakespeare, an expurgated edition of William Shakespeare’s plays edited by his sister Henrietta Maria Bowdler. They sought a version they saw as more appropriate than the original for 19th-century women and children. … His last work was an expurgation of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published posthumously in 1826 under the supervision of his nephew and biographer, Thomas Bowdler the Younger. The term bowdlerize links the name with expurgation or omission of elements deemed unsuited to children, in literature and films and on television.
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