• All Books

BIC Excellence Award

The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 1

By Steve Nicholson

The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 1
Hardback, 360 pages £75.00
Published: 2003
ISBN: 9780859896382
Format: 234mm x 156mm
Buy this Book

PDF, 360 pages £75.00
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9780859899031
Buy this Book

Paperback, 394 pages £25.00
Published: 2020
ISBN: 9781905816408
Format: 234mm x 156mm
Buy this Book

Subjects: Performance
Series: Exeter Performance Studies

This is the first volume in a new paperback edition of Steve Nicholson's well-reviewed four-volume analysis of British theatre censorship from 1900-1968, based on previously undocumented material in the Lord Chamberlain's Correspondence archives. It charts the period before 1932, when theatre was seen as a crucial medium with the power to shape society, determining what people believed and how they behaved. It uncovers the differing views and the disputes which occurred among and between the Lord Chamberlain and his Readers and Advisers, and discusses the extensive pressures exerted on him by bodies such as the Public Morality Council, the Church, the monarch, government departments, foreign embassies, newspapers, powerful individuals and those claiming to represent national or international opinion. The book explores the portrayal of a broad range of topics in relation to censorship, including the First World War, race and inter-racial relationships, contemporary and historical international conflicts, horror, sexual freedom and morality, class, the monarchy, and religion.

This new edition includes a contextualising timeline for those readers who are unfamiliar with the period, and a new preface.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47788/LXOK1281



Introduction: Because Lions Ain't Rabbits

Section One: 1900-1918

1.  From Ibsenity to Obscenity: Principles and Practice 1900-1909

2.  People Who Eat Peas With Their Knife: The Government Enquiry of 1909

3.  Cats, Canaries and Guinea Pigs: Principles and Practice 1909-1913

4.  A Clique of Erotic Women: The First World War (Part One)

5.  The Hidden Hand: The First World War (Part Two)

Section Two: 1919-1932

6. The Dead Men: Principles and Practice

7.  No Screams from Rabbit: Horror and Religion

8.  Merchandisers in Muck: The Immoral Maze

9.  Our Good Humoured Community: Domestic Politics

10.  Foreign Bodies: International Politics

Conclusion: A Gentler Process of Prevention


Select Bibliography




Nicholson is very readable. He tells a good story, both chronologically and in the many accounts of particular wrangles, campaigns, negotiations, subtleties, paradoxes and outrages. . . . He uses correspondence to give palpable life to human agencies within institutional structures.

- Theatre Research International

. . should be welcomed as a long overdue account of the role and function of British theatre censorship during the twentieth century.

- Modern Drama

Steve Nicholson is Emeritus Professor at the University of Sheffield. He is a series editor for Exeter Performance Studies and the author of British Theatre and the Red Peril: The Portrayal of Communism, 1917-1945, also published by UEP.

The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 1
The Censorship of British Drama 1900-1968 Volume 1 - 1900-1932 - Hardback cover

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 360 pages
 234mm x 156mm

 PDF , 360 pages

 Paperback , 394 pages
 234mm x 156mm

BIC Code:
  PER011000, POL039000
 University of Exeter Press


Other visitors also viewed:

  • Cecil Hepworth and the Rise of the British Film Industry 1899-1911
  • Ethics and Politics in Seventeenth-Century France
  • Forms of Conflict
  • Decoding the Movies
  • The Boggart
email Email to a colleague

Mailing List

mailing list

Other books by
Steve Nicholson

External Links:

Books in Series
Exeter Performance Studies