Books: Knows Where!

DR. BOWDLER'S LEGACY: A HISTORY OF EXPURGATED BOOKS IN ENGLAND AND AMERICA by Noel Perrin. 296 pages. Atheneum. $7.95.

"Shakespeare, Madam, is obscene, and thank God, we are sufficiently advanced to have found it out!" Thus spake the pure—the ever so pure—voice of the born bowdlerizer. Self-congratulatory, combining limitless prudery with limitless zeal, the expurgator haunted the live authors of the 19th century, and the dead authors of every century previous. Without respect for reputation, he labored—blue stockings on his feet, blue pencil in his hand—to save the reading public from corruption and to save masterpieces (including the Bible) from themselves.

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