This volume, by three English as in country professors, all of whom formerly taught at the University of Warwick, is approximately [End Page ] the twentieth published volume on the subject over two-thirds of which have appeared since French theater censorship, which was abolished only one hundred years ago and was the subject of controversy that unquestionably equaled, and probably exceeded that in Britain, for example, has been the subject of only about five scholarly studies published since ; in fact, the number of volumes on theater censorship for all other European countries combined barely exceeds that on Britain alone.
- Theatre Censorship: From Walpole to Wilson;
- Theatre Censorship: From Walpole to Wilson | Samuel French.
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Why this is the case is by no means clear. One answer may be that British stage censorship lasted until , far longer than that in any other democratic European country, a fact that is especially remarkable since press censorship was abolished in Britain in , far earlier than elsewhere in Europe.
Another may be that British theater censorship was administered after by one central office, that of the Lord Chamberlain, and that the censorship records have survived entirely intact this is also true for France, but not for at least some other European countries—in some countries, as in Italy and Germany, drama censorship was decentralized, making comprehensive studies difficult, while the Austrian records were destroyed, no doubt helping to explain why the land of Metternich has not generated even one book-length study on theater censorship.
This volume has some genuine strengths, as discussed below, but answering questions such as these is not one of them: There is also no sustained attempt to explain the persistence of drama censorship in Britain for so long: Only once is a hint even given as to why the stage was so clearly feared more than the printed word: University Press Scholarship Online.
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