Five Surprisingly Banned Books

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-GlassWonderland
by Lewis Carroll

As early as 1900 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass was suspended from classroom use at Woodsville High School in Haverhill, New Hampshire, because the novel contained expletives, references to masturbation and sexual fantasies, and ‘derogatory characterizations of teachers and religious ceremonies.’

In 1931 it was banned by the Governor of Hunan Province in China on the grounds that ‘Animals should not use human language, and that it was disastrous to put animals and human beings on the same level.’ Some of you remember similar reasons used in the United States in the challenges of Charlotte’s Web and Winnie-the-Pooh.

There have also been several challenges in the last few decades by parental groups who feel that the book encourages drugs and child abuse.

The rumors of drug use were first put into public consciousness during the 1960’s by psychiatrists opposing the LSD subculture sweeping the nation. This was borne primarily around The Mad Hatter having a card on his hat which read ’10/6′. This card is a price tag in English pounds, shillings and pennies, which was then written as l/s/d. Dodgson explained the meaning of the tag in his ‘Nursery Alice‘: ‘The Hatter used to carry about hats to sell, and even the one that he’s got on his head is meant to be sold for ‘ten shillings and sixpence’.’

As for claims of child abuse, there’s no more violence in this work than a Bugs Bunny short on Saturday morning. Royalty being a bit crazed and beheading everyone is part of history. Is this yet another example of revisionist history?

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