The New Censorship. To the Editor of The Nation and Athenaeum
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[ 489 The New Censorship To the Editor of The Nation and Athenaeum The Nation and Athenaeum, 43 (15 Sept 1928) 755 Sir, – I should like to add a line in support of the admirable protest made by Mr. Forster and Mrs. Woolf in your last issue against the “withdrawal from circulation” of The Well of Loneliness.1 I do not like the book, but I agree that it is perfectly decent; and I see no grounds for the suppression. I wish only to suggest that some more organized protest might be made, before the practice of suppression by these means – articles in Sunday newspapers – becomes an established custom.2 Yours, etc., 24, Russell Square, London, W.C.1. T. S. Eliot Notes 1. TSE discussed the censorship of Radclyffe Hall’s novel about female homosexuality in his Criterion “Commentary” of Sept 1928 (3.473). Published by Jonathan Cape, the book had to be withdrawnafterprotestsintheSundayExpressandthreatsoflegalactionbytheHomeSecretary; the case was brought to court and the judge ordered all copies destroyed. The novelists E. M. Forster (1879-1970) and Virginia Woolf published a letter in the issue of 8 Sept protesting that writers “cannot produce great literature until they have free minds. . . . we feel that Miss Hall’s fellow writers ought to protest vigorously against the action of the Home Office. . . . Not only has a wrong been done to a seriously minded book, a blow has been struck at literature generally” (725). 2. TSE refers in particular to the review by James Douglas that initiated the controversy, “A Book that Must Be Suppressed,” in the Sunday Express of 19 Aug 1928. Subsequently, TSE, E. M.Forster,LeonardandVirginiaWoolf,JulianHuxley,andotherauthorssignedanorganized letter of protest that appeared in the Daily Herald of 28 Nov 1928 – “Book Ban Denounced: Eminent People Defend ‘Well of Loneliness’” (5) – and also in the Daily News of that date (5). ...


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