Banned Books

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Throughout history, many books have been banned for one reason or another, religious, cultural, political, etc. Sometimes the bans were regional or even local (i.e., in only one school or parish) and other times they were widespread, pronounced by secular or religious leaders.

One of the biggest benefits of ebooks is that texts that previously could be suppressed (at least to some degree) can be set free for future generations. This page is an attempt to list those books that have been banned at one time or another, in any form for any reason, and make sure they are posted to Project Gutenberg for posterity's sake.

To-Do

  • Add known books that have been banned at one time or another
  • Check list against what is available in PG.
  • Better organization

Not in PG

Note: Some of the books listed here may have certain versions or translations available in PG. They are still listed here because the original version and/or widely used editions are not yet in PG. See the Posted section below to determine which versions are available in PG.

Various Authors

  • Kristiania-romanen, 1891
    • Collection of 75 pieces and poems. Confiscated and banned November 11 1891.

Alighieri, Dante

  • De Monarchia, 1310-1313
    • Per godless.org's list, this was banned in 1559 by the current Pope for "asserting that the authority of kings came from God and not from the Pope as God's Vicar on earth" etext 33896.
    • There is apparently a whole book on the banning of this book, entitled: The Monarchia controversy (worldcat link).

Balzac, Honore de

  • Novels: La Commedie Humaine, 1831-1847
  • Les Contes Drolatiques (Droll Stories), 1832-1837

Bandarra, Gonçalo Annes (1500-1556)

  • Paráfrase e Concordância de Algumas Profecias de Bandarra (Paris, 1603?)

TIA has a scan set

  • Trovas Inéditas do Bandarra (London, 1815)

etext #21545

Bang, Herman

  • Haabløse Slægter, 1880
    • Only the first edition of this was banned, as the later editions had the offensive parts (detailed in an 1881 sentence, in which the author was fined 100 kroner) rewritten or removed by the author and released with written permission from the Police. The first edition was not re-released unedited until 1965.
    • ebook #11139 was produced by DP (projectID3fda1c3bcc6c3)

Burton, Sir Richard Francis

  • Journals, Notes, Papers

Dumas, Alexandra, fils

  • La Dame aux Camelias, 1848

Eberhard, August

  • Omgangen Med Det Smukke Kjøn, 1871
    • Danish translation of the German original. Confiscated and banned in Norway.


France, Anatole (Jacques Anatole Thibault)

  • "Complete Works"
    • Many of his works (in English) are either available from PG or in progress at DP.

Frøchen, Just

  • Gaa't i Hundene, 1887
    • Confiscated, but later allowed to be sold on the condition that certain parts be removed. So, presumably, only the first edition has those forbidden parts (as far as I can tell, even to this day).

Galilei, Galileo

  • Dialogo sopra i due Massimi Sistemi del Mondo, 1632

Gilbert, W. S. (1836-1911) and Sullivan, Arthur

  • H.M.S. Pinafore, 1878
  • The Mikado, or the Town of Titipu, 1885
    • The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan are available in PG

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von

  • Die Leiden des jungen Werther (The Sorrows of Young Werther), 1774
    • An English translation of this is available in PG: Text 2527
    • German version is available on PG: Text 2407

Ibsen, Henrik

  • Ghosts, 1881
    • An English translation is available in PG
    • Original title is Gengangere.--GroovingPict 17:45, 30 July 2008 (PDT)
    • As a play it was banned in Germany, and while it wasn't officially banned in Norway, no theatre manager dared to put it up. Also, Norwegian bookstores organized a boycott of the book by returning them to the publisher and refusing to sell it.--GroovingPict 17:45, 30 July 2008 (PDT)

Jæger, Hans

  • Fra Kristiania-bohemen, 1885
    • Contains two volumes. Confiscated by authorities one hour after its release. The author was prosecuted and sentenced to prison for 60 days in 1886, and forced to flee Norway the following year.
  • Julefortællinger af Hans Jæger, 1886
    • This book is really a reprint of the second volume of Fra Kristiania-bohemen. 350 copies were printed and nearly all were confiscated and destroyed.
  • Syk Kjærlihet, 1893
    • Confiscated and banned in all Scandinavian countries plus Finland. A Johannes Jacobus Ipsen announced this book in the Danish newspaper Social-demokraten, which cost him a month in jail and the newspaper to be confiscated.
  • Bekjendelser, 1902
    • A sequel to Syk Kjærlihet. Banned in Scandinavia and Finland. Only 250 copies were printed and distributed privately (rather than through bookstores) to avoid confiscation.
  • Fængsel og fortvilelse, 1903
    • The third and final book in the series, and like Bekjendelser was printed in 250 copies and distributed privately.

Kant, Immanuel

  • Critique of Pure Reason], 1781
    • An English translation of this is in PG
  • Die Religion Innerhalb der Grenzen der Blossen Vernunft, 1793
    • The german edition is currently (Sept. 2007) in the rounds.

Krohg, Christian

  • Albertine, 1886
    • Confiscated and banned in Norway.

La Fontaine, Jean de

  • Contes et Nouvelles en Vers, 1665-1671

Lawrence, David Herbert

  • Lady Chatterley's Lover, 1928: not at PG.

Lenin

  • State and Revolution

Louys, Pierre

  • The Songs of Bilitis, 1894


Machiavelli, Niccolo

Maeterlinck, Maurice

  • Other works.

Marx, Karl

  • Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1847
    • An English translation is available in PG
  • Das Kapital, 1867-1895

Milton, John

  • Eikonoklastes, 1649
  • Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio, 1651
  • State Papers, 1676

Moliere (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin)

  • Le Tartuffe ou I'lmposteur, 1664-1669
    • An English translation is in PG

Paine, Thomas

Pascal, Blaise

  • The Provincial Letters
Available for harvesting at TIA American Libraries

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

  • Emile, ou de I'Education, 1762
    • An English translation is available in PG

Sanger, Margaret

Schiller, Johan Christoph Friedrich von

  • Die Räuber: ein Schauspiel, 1781

Shelley, Mary

  • Frankenstein
    • While a version exists in PG, it appears to be a bastardized mix of the original and 2nd editions.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe

Note: "Complete Works" are in PG

  • The Necessity of Atheism, 1811
  • Queen Mab, a Philosophical Poem, 1813
  • Alastor, 1816
  • The Revolt of Islam, 1817
  • Prometheus Unbound, 1818
    • A Dutch translation is available in PG
  • The Cenci, 1819

Stendhal (Marie Henri Beyle)

  • Other works

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel

  • Verses, 1847

Tolstoy, Leo

  • Various other works.

Wilde, Oscar

  • Salome, 1893
    • French version is in PG (see below)

Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

Posted

Various Authors

The Bible

The Talmud

The Koran

Alighieri, Dante

Anonymous/Unknown

Andersen, Hans Christian

  • Wonder Stories, 1835
As far as I can tell, this just refers to his fairy tales, which we do have in PG. Unless a more specific reference can be found (i.e. a copy of the Russian, or Soviet law, or a copy of the book with the Illinois "For Adult Readers Only" stamp), I think we should treat this as done. -- JesseW 22:00, 27 August 2007 (PDT)

Apuleius, Lucius

Aristophanes

Baudelaire, Charles Pierre

Bandarra, Gonçalo Annes(1500-1556)

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Burton, Sir Richard Francis

Cabell, James Branch

Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de

  • The Life and Exploits of the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote De La Mancha, first part, 1605; second part, 1615

Chopin, Kate O'Flaherty

Cleland, John

Clemens, Samuel Langhorne (Mark Twain)

Confucius

  • Analects (Sayings of Confucius and His Disciples)

Darwin, Charles Robert

Darwin, Erasmus

Defoe, Daniel


Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892
    • It's unclear which Adventures were banned, or if all of them were - regardless, all of Doyle's Holmes stories are in PG

Dodgson, Charles L. (Lewis Carroll)

Dreiser, Theodore

Dumas fils, Alexandre

Eliot, George (Mary Ann Evans)

Fielding, Henry

Flaubert, Gustave

Gibbon, Edward

Glyn, Elinor

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von

Hardy, Thomas

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

Homer

Hugo, Victor Marie

Ibsen, Henrik

Joyce, James

Kant, Immanuel

  • Critique of Pure Reason, 1781

Lawrence, David Herbert

Locke, John

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690 – Vol. 1, Vol. 2

London, Jack

Luther, Martin

Machiavelli, Niccolo

Marx, Karl

  • Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1847

Milton, John

  • Areopagitica, A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing, to the Parliament of England, 1644
  • Paradise Lost, 1667 – 1, 2

Moliere (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) (1622-1673)

  • Le Tartuffe ou I'lmposteur, 1664-1669

Montaigne, Michel de

Moore, George Augustus

Petronius, Gaius

Phillips, David Graham

Rabelais, Francois

  • Pantagruel, 1533
  • Gargantua, 1535

Richardson, Samuel

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778)

Sewell, Anna

Shakespeare, William

  • The Tragedie of King Richard the Second, 1597 – 1, 2, 3
  • The Merchant of Venice, 1600 — 1, 2, 3, 4
  • King Lear, 1608 – 1, 2, 3, 4

Shaw, George Bernard

Shelley, Mary

  • Frankenstein
    • This version appears to be a bastardized mix of the original and 2nd editions

Shelley, Percy Bysshe

Note: "Complete Works" are in PG

  • Prometheus Unbound, 1818

Sinclair, Upton

Stendhal (Marie Henri Beyle)

Sterne, Laurence

Stowe, Harriet Beecher

Swift, Jonathan

  • A Tale of a Tub Written for the Universal Improvement of Mankind, 1704
  • Gulliver's Travels, 1726 – 1, 2

Swinburne, Algernon Charles

Tasso, Torquato

Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) (1694-1778)

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

Wilde, Oscar

Wilkins, John

Zola, Emile

External Resources