Category Archives: censorship

Rose Allatini and ‘romance novels’

Rose Allatini The excellent news is that Persephone Books are republishing Rose Allatini’s Despised and Rejected as one of their Spring/Summer selections. This novel, of course, was the one that, published under the name of A.T. Fitzroy, described homosexuals and conscientious objectors sympathetically, and was prosecuted in September 1918 as ‘likely to prejudice the recruiting, […]

What soldiers shouldn’t read

I’ve read some good articles over the years about the reading habits of soldiers in France, and the literature supplied to them. What I hadn’t considered much before was what they were discouraged from reading. Here’s Arnold Bennett, writing in February 1919,  about the committee who ran the Camps Library, and made sure it did […]

‘Dawn’: Edith Cavell and the censors

On Saturday, at the splendid Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, we had a rare chance to see the 1929 film Dawn, about Edith Cavell. It’s a remarkable film, and it was made more enjoyable by the four short talks that preceded it.

Girl of Good Family by ‘Lucian Wainwright’

I have really enjoyed reading Girl of Good Family (1935) by ‘Lucian Wainwright’, a pen-name of Rose Allatini. It was written nearly twenty years after her notorious banned novel Despised and Rejected, but returns to the war years described in that book. This novel is at least partly based on Allatini’s own life, but disguises […]

Allatini after Fitzroy

Thinking about C. W. Daniel has revived my curiosity about Rose Allatini, whose novel Despised and Rejected got him into so much trouble. She lived until 1980, and apparently wrote forty-odd novels, under a variety of pseudonyms, including Lucian Wainwright, Mrs Cyril Scott, and  Eunice Buckley. I can’t find out much about them, though. Are […]

Realism is Not Enough

The British Poetry of the First World War conference at Oxford gave me plenty to think about. One sentence from that has stuck in my mind as a theme I want to develop at some time in the future is from the presentation by Andrew Palmer. ‘Realism is not enough,’ he said. He was talking […]

‘The Title’: Arnold Bennett and the censor

Arnold Bennett’s 1918 play The Title is very much a play of the War years, but is not a play about the War. Written at the time when Bennett had an important role at the Ministry of Information, as Director of Propaganda for France, I see the play as one of the ways in which […]

Prosecuting ‘The Rainbow’

Or ‘… one hand always in the slime.’ While at the National Archives in Kew yesterday, I took a look at the file (HO 45/13944) about the prosecution of D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow in 1915. I was hoping to find some indication whether Lawrence’s attitude towards the War had been a contributing factor in […]

Letter in TLS

I’m feeling mildly chuffed that my letter about James Douglas and his 1918 attack on the novel Despised and Rejected has been given pride of place on the Times Literary Supplement letters page today. The TLS website has been redesigned, so that it looks snazzier, but no longer offers a PDF of the week’s letters […]

James Douglas, and ‘Despised and Rejected’

The most recent Times Literary Supplement had a good article (not online, unfortunately) about James Douglas. He was the journalist whose luridly-phrased fulminations inspired the prosecution for obscenity of Lawrence’s The Rainbow, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness and plenty of other books. David Bradshaw in his article remarks that after Douglas’s comments on The […]