Title page of Bowdler's best-known work
|Born||11 July 1754|
|Died||24 February 1825 70) (aged|
|The Family Shakspeare (1807)|
Thomas Bowdler, LRCP, FRS ( // ; 11 July 1754 – 24 February 1825 ) was an English doctor best known for publishing The Family Shakspeare, an expurgated edition of William Shakespeare's plays. The work, edited by his sister Henrietta Maria Bowdler, was intended to provide a version of Shakespeare that was more appropriate than the original for 19th-century women and children. Bowdler also published several other works, some reflecting his interest in and knowledge of continental Europe. Bowdler's last work was an expurgated version of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , published posthumously in 1826 under the supervision of his nephew and biographer, Thomas Bowdler the Younger.
The Royal College of Physicians is a British professional body dedicated to improving the practice of medicine, chiefly through the accreditation of physicians by examination. Founded in 1518, it set the first international standard in the classification of diseases, and its library contains medical texts of great historical interest.
The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.
A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines, such as anatomy and physiology, underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.
The verb bowdlerise (or bowdlerize)has linked his name with the censorship or omission of elements deemed inappropriate for children, not only in literature but also in motion pictures and television programmes.
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by a government private institutions, and corporations.
Thomas Bowdler was born in Box, near Bath, Somerset, the youngest son of the six children of Thomas Bowdler (c. 1719–1785), a banker of substantial fortune,and his wife, Elizabeth, née Cotton (d. 1797), the daughter of Sir John Cotton, 6th Baronet of Conington, Huntingdonshire. Bowdler studied medicine at the universities of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, where he received his degree in 1776, graduating with a thesis on intermittent fevers. He spent the next four years travelling through continental Europe, visiting Germany, Hungary, Italy, Sicily, and Portugal. In 1781 he caught a fever in Lisbon from a young friend whom he was attending to through a fatal illness. He returned to England in broken health and with a strong aversion to the medical profession. In 1781 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (LRCP), but did not continue to practice medicine. He devoted himself instead to the cause of prison reform.
Box is a large village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) west of Corsham and 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Bath. Besides the village of Box, the parish includes the villages of Ashley and Box Hill; Hazelbury manor; and the hamlets of Alcombe, Blue Vein, Chapel Plaister, Ditteridge, Henley, Kingsdown, Middlehill and Wadswick. To the east the parish includes much of Rudloe, formerly a hamlet but now a housing estate, and the defence establishments and related businesses on the site of RAF Rudloe Manor.
Bath is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths. In 2011, the population was 88,859. Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 11 miles (18 km) south-east of Bristol. The city became a World Heritage site in 1987.
Elizabeth Stuart Bowdler [née Cotton] was a religious writer.
Bowdler was also a strong chess player and once played eight recorded games against the best chess player of the time, François-André Danican Philidor, who was so confident of his superiority that he played with several handicaps. Bowdler won twice, lost three times, and drew three times.The Bowdler Attack is named after him.
Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.
François-André Danican Philidor, often referred to as André Danican Philidor during his lifetime, was a French composer and chess player. He contributed to the early development of the opéra comique. He is also regarded as the best chess player of his age; his book Analyse du jeu des Échecs was considered a standard chess manual for at least a century. A well-known chess opening and a checkmate method are both named after him.
In chess, a draw is the result of a game ending in a tie. Usually, in tournaments a draw is worth a half point to each player, while a win is worth one point to the victor and none to the loser.
Bowdler's first published work was Letters Written in Holland in the Months of September and October 1787 (1788), which gave his eye-witness account of the Patriots' uprising.In 1800 Bowdler took a lease on a country estate at St. Boniface, on the Isle of Wight, where he lived for ten years. In September 1806, when he was 52, he married Elizabeth Frevenen or Trevennen, the widow of a naval officer. The marriage was unhappy, and after a few years Bowdler and his wife separated. They had no children. After the separation, the marriage was never mentioned by the Bowdler family; in the biography of Bowdler written by his nephew, Thomas Bowdler, there is no mention of Bowdler ever marrying.
The Patriottentijd was a period of political instability in the Dutch Republic between approximately 1780 and 1787. It takes its name from the radical political faction known as the Patriotten who opposed the rule of the stadtholder, William V, Prince of Orange, and his supporters who were known as Orangists.
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines.
Thomas Bowdler the Younger (1782–1856) was an Anglican priest, who wrote a memoir of his father, John Bowdler, and his uncle, Thomas Bowdler the elder. He was also editor of an expurgated version of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, as prepared by his uncle.
In 1807, the first edition of the Bowdlers' The Family Shakspeare, covering 20 plays, was published in four small volumes.From 1811 until his death in 1825, Bowdler lived at Rhyddings House, overlooking Swansea Bay, from where he travelled extensively in Britain and continental Europe. In 1815, he published Observations on Emigration to France, With an Account of Health, Economy, and the Education of Children, a cautionary work propounding his view that English invalids should avoid French spas and go instead to Malta. In 1818, Bowdler published an expanded edition of The Family Shakspeare, covering all 36 available plays, which had considerable success. By 1827 the work had gone into its fifth edition. In his last years, Bowdler prepared an expurgated version of the works of the historian Edward Gibbon, which was published posthumously in 1826. His sister Jane Bowdler (1743–1784) was a poet and essayist, and another sister, Henrietta Maria Bowdler (Harriet) (1750–1830), collaborated with Bowdler on his expurgated Shakespeare.
Swansea, is a coastal city and county, officially known as the City and County of Swansea in Wales. Swansea lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan and the ancient Welsh commote of Gŵyr on the southwest coast. The county area includes Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula. Swansea is the second largest city in Wales and the twenty-fifth largest city in the United Kingdom. According to its local council, the City and County of Swansea had a population of 241,300 in 2014. The last official census stated that the city, metropolitan and urban areas combined concluded to be a total of 462,000 in 2011; the second most populous local authority area in Wales after Cardiff.
A spa is a location where mineral-rich spring water is used to give medicinal baths. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments, which are also known as balneotherapy. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are especially widespread in Europe and Japan. Day spas are also quite popular, and offer various personal care treatments.
Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km². The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese officially recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union.
Bowdler died in Swansea at the age of 70 and was buried there, at Oystermouth.He bequeathed donations to the poor of Swansea and Box. His large library, consisting of unexpurgated volumes collected by his ancestors Thomas Bowdler (1638–1700) and Thomas Bowdler (1661–1738), was donated to the University of Wales, Lampeter. In 1825 Bowdler's nephew, also called Thomas Bowdler, published his Memoir of the Late John Bowdler, Esq., to Which Is Added, Some Account of the Late Thomas Bowdler, Esq. Editor of the Family Shakspeare.
In Bowdler's childhood, his father had entertained his family with readings from Shakespeare. Later in life, Bowdler realized that his father had been omitting or altering passages he felt unsuitable for the ears of his wife and children. Bowdler felt it would be worthwhile to publish an edition which might be used in a family whose father was not a sufficiently "circumspect and judicious reader" to accomplish this expurgation himself.
In 1807 the first edition of the Bowdlers' The Family Shakspeare was published in four duodecimo volumes, containing 24 plays. In 1818 the second edition, covering all 36 available plays, was published.Each play is preceded by an introduction wherein Bowdler summarizes and justifies his changes to the text. According to his nephew's Memoir, the first edition was prepared by Bowdler's sister, Harriet, but both were published under Thomas Bowdler's name. This was likely because a woman could not then publicly admit that she was capable of such editing and compilation, nor that she understood Shakespeare's racy verses. By 1850 eleven editions had been printed.
The spelling "Shakspeare", used by Bowdler and also by his nephew Thomas in his memoir of Thomas Bowdler the elder,was changed in later editions (from 1847 on) to "Shakespeare", reflecting changes in the standard spelling of Shakespeare's name.
The Bowdlers were not the first to undertake such a project. Bowdler's commitment to not augmenting or adding to Shakespeare's text, instead only removing sensitive material, was in contrast with the practice of earlier editors. Nahum Tate as Poet Laureate had rewritten the tragedy of King Lear with a happy ending; In 1807, Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb published Tales from Shakespeare for children with synopses of 20 of the plays, but seldom quoted the original text.Though The Family Shakespeare was considered a negative example of censorship by the literary establishment and its commitment to the "authentic" Shakespeare, the Bowdlers' expurgated editions made it more acceptable to teach Shakespeare to wider and younger audiences. As said by the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne, "More nauseous and more foolish cant was never chattered than that which would deride the memory or depreciate the merits of Bowdler. No man ever did better service to Shakespeare than the man who made it possible to put him into the hands of intelligent and imaginative children".
Some examples of alterations made by Bowdler's edition:
Prominent modern literary figures such as Michiko Kakutani (in the New York Times) and William Safire (in his book, How Not to Write) have accused Bowdler of changing Lady Macbeth's famous "Out, damned spot!" line in Macbeth to "Out, crimson spot!"But Bowdler did not do that. Thomas Bulfinch and Stephen Bulfinch did, in their 1865 edition of Shakespeare's works.
|Look up bowdlerise in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
The earliest texts of William Shakespeare's works were published during the 16th and 17th centuries in quarto or folio format. Folios are large, tall volumes; quartos are smaller, roughly half the size. The publications of the latter are usually abbreviated to Q1, Q2, etc., where the letter stands for "quarto" and the number for the first, second, or third edition published.
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1818.
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1807.
Alexander Chalmers was a Scottish writer.
Edmond Malone was an Irish Shakespearean scholar and editor of the works of William Shakespeare.
Lieutenant-General Arthur Richard Wellesley, 2nd Duke of Wellington,, styled Lord Douro between 1812 and 1814 and Marquess of Douro between 1814 and 1852, was a British soldier and politician. The eldest son of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, victor of Waterloo and Prime Minister, he succeeded his father in the dukedom in 1852 and held minor political office as Master of the Horse from 1853 to 1858. In 1858 he was made a Knight of the Garter.
Nicholas Rowe, English dramatist, poet and miscellaneous writer, was appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 1715. His plays and poems were well-received during his lifetime, with one of his translations described as one of the greatest productions in English poetry. He was also considered the first editor of the works of William Shakespeare.
Bowdler, a prominent Shropshire family descended from Baldwin de Boulers.
Shakespeare's editors were essential in the development of the modern practice of producing printed books and the evolution of textual criticism.
George Nicol was a bookseller and publisher in 18th-century London. In 1781, he became bookseller to George III, a position he held until 1820. In 1785, he published an improved edition of James Cook's third voyage. In 1786, he became involved with John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and bore responsibility for the letterpress. He and the others in the project wanted to create a type that would be both utilitarian and beautiful.
Expurgation, also known as bowdlerization, is a form of censorship which involves purging anything deemed noxious or offensive from an artistic work, or other type of writing of media.
James Boaden was an English biographer, dramatist, and journalist.
Jane Bowdler (1743–1784) was an English poet and essayist. Her work gained longstanding popularity after her death.
Henrietta Maria Bowdler (1750–1830), commonly called Mrs. Harriet Bowdler, was an English religious author and literary expurgator, notably of the works of Shakespeare.
John Bowdler (1746–1823) was a campaigner for moral reform in Britain and a founder of the Church Building Society. His brother and sister were the editors of the expurgated Family Shakspeare.
John Bowdler the Younger, was an English essayist, poet and lawyer.
"Ständchen", D 889, is a lied for solo voice and piano by Franz Schubert, composed in July 1826 in the then village of Währing. The lied is a setting in the key of C major of the "Song" in act 2, scene 3 of Shakespeare's Cymbeline. Schubert died aged only 31 in 1828, and the song was first published posthumously by Anton Diabelli in 1830. The song in its original form is relatively short, and two further verses by Friedrich Reil were added to Diabelli's second edition of 1832.
The Family Shakespeare is a collection of expurgated Shakespeare plays, edited by Thomas Bowdler and his sister Henrietta ("Harriet"), intended to remove any material deemed too racy, blasphemous, or otherwise sensitive for young or female audiences, with the ultimate goal of creating a family-friendly rendition of Shakespeare's plays. However, despite this mission, The Family Shakespeare is most often cited in modern times as a negative example of literary censorship, despite its original family-friendly intentions. The Bowdler name is also the origin of the term "bowdlerize", meaning to omit parts of a work on moral grounds.