Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Boston Public Library - Rejected Books 1901

The New York Times for March 2, 1901 has an article listing books "rejected" by the Examining and Reading Committee of the Boston Public Library. This list includes, among many others, Good Americans by Constance Cary Harrison; The Two Magics by Henry James (which contains The Turn of the Screw and The Covering End); The Touchstone by Edith Wharton. Deemed "unsafe" were Voice of the People by Ellen Glasgow, mistakenly named as Helen; and Their Silver Wedding by William Dean Howells.

I found this article by doing a search for reviews of Judge Robert Grant's novel, Unleavened Bread, which the committee has labeled "a very disagreeable and excellent story against women's clubs. . .". Edith Wharton is said to have admired this book, which is available both at the Gutenberg Project and Google Books. I haven't read it yet, but I have converted the Gutenberg version for reading on my Sony PRS-505, and it's next on my list.

I had never heard of the BPL committee and its lists of "rejected" and "unsafe" books. This bears more looking into.

No comments:

Post a Comment