Sunday, 11 July 2010

2010 BSANZ/CftB Conference in the News

Jane Sullivan's lead article "Censorship and Sensibility" appeared in Saturday's A2 section of The Age. It was certainly an eye-catching cover story, in which "Jane Sullivan probes the sometimes secret history of book banning in Australia." For those who missed it, Fairfax have the text here and Exit International (!) have it here.

Mentioned in the article is the Monash Rare Books exhibition, the BSANZ/CftB conference, and the public keynote papers by Professor Jenny Hocking ("Angela Wren’s Lost Watch: Power Without Glory, Criminal Libel and Hidden Histories") and Kevin Patrick ("A Design for Depravity: Horror Comics and the Challenge of Censorship in Australia, 1950-1986").

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The only mention of non-Australian material in the article is a side-bar snippet on the Essay on Woman:

A notorious case in 18th century England. John Wilkes's pornographic parody of Pope's Essay on Man was written only for his rakish mates in the Hellfire Club and a tiny private edition was printed off a press in his own house.

His enemies in Parliament bribed the printers to give them a page and he was hauled up before his peers. He fled for his life to France, and in his absence was found guilty of obscene and seditious libel and declared an outlaw.

No original version of the poem survives and even copies are very rare, says Dr Patrick Spedding, associate director of the Centre for the Book at Monash University.

Indeed. The J. C. Hotten 1871 (private press) edition in the Monash Rare Books exhibition—the only copy in Australia—was probably the best and the most accurate edition of An Essay on Woman between 1763 and 2001 when Arthur H. Cash published his Reconstruction and Historical Essay on the poem.

[UPDATED 2016.05.12]

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