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History of censorship - 1908

Is the Bard blue?

Lawyer takes Shakespeare to court to make a legal point

Whitcombe and Tombs in Christchurch were prosecuted for selling novels by the Australian writer Victoria Cross. Aplers, the defence lawyer, considered the case ridiculous, and reacted by taking Whitcombe and Tombs to court himself - for selling Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis. He wanted to demonstrate that the law applied different standards when dealing with classical as opposed to contemporary work. He was successful, as the Venus and Adonis case was dismissed.

Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVI, 2 October 1908, Page 5

From: Christoffel, P. (1989) Censored: A Short History of Censorship in New Zealand, p8.

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Venus and Adonis news article
Venus and Adonis news article