What Books Are Banned in the UK?

what books are banned in the uk

If you’re wondering what books are banned in the UK, you’re not alone. Many authors have been banned in their home country for a variety of reasons, but a few of the most notorious are listed below. If you’re curious about the history behind a particular book, read on to learn more about its ban. Also, keep an eye out for any upcoming events to help you understand the reasoning behind the ban.

Tropic of Cancer

The first controversy centered on the obscene content of the book, and the subsequent campaign launched by Barney Rosset, a prominent figure in the censorship movement. Originally banned in the UK, Tropic of Cancer was later republished with a large advance from Grove Press and legal representation by the publisher’s lawyer. It became a bestseller, and over three-fourths of copies were returned because of its pornography. The publisher and distributors were sued in at least 21 states.

Although it was banned in the United Kingdom, it was legal in the United States until nearly 30 years after publication. A 1961 decision by the United States Supreme Court cleared up the legalities, but controversy still raged. This novel has since been banned in Turkey and China. However, many people believe that it was banned only in the United Kingdom after its publication. There are many rumors surrounding its author’s whereabouts.


Why is Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov banned in the UK? He was born in Russia in 1898 and was imprisoned for 90 days in 1908. The author was the son of a lepidopterist. Nabokov moved to France and Germany after the Bolshevik revolution, where he studied at the University of Cambridge. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen during his time in Europe, and he eventually wrote his first novel, Lolita, in English.

It was only in 1955 that “Lolita” became a bestseller. The novel was published in no English-speaking country, but in France it was making its way out of the country by suitcase bottoms. Suddenly, publishers were falling over themselves to get hold of Nabokov’s books. The Nabokovs’ home was inundated with letters, and Vera Nabokov fielded a barrage of queries. She explained to one publisher that Nabokov had been stalking Ithaca playgrounds for three years.


The first Lolita book was published in the United States in 1958, and it became an instant bestseller. Within three weeks, it reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list. It spent the entire Autumn of 1958 on the bestseller list, and it was constantly discussed in the media. However, despite the controversy surrounding the book, its fate remained unclear, and many libraries in the U.S. and Britain refused to include it in their catalogues.

The novel, published by the Parisian Olympia Press, caused a scandal before its publication. After Nabokov attempted to burn the manuscript, his wife Vera Nabokov intervened to save the book from burning. The novel was also recommended to Maurice Girodias by Madame Doussia Ergaz. This Russian emigrant had been teaching at Cornell University, and was already familiar with the literary scene.


In the United Kingdom, some books have been banned because of their content. The book The Satanic Verses is a well-known example. The book was banned in many countries, including England, where it was burnt in the street and temporarily removed from two bookstores. Despite the book’s controversial nature, the police took a number of threats seriously. In Pakistan, five people were killed in riots against the book, and another died in Kashmir. In Venezuela, reading and owning the book was made a crime. There, people could be sentenced to 15 months in prison. In Poland, the distribution of the book was restricted.

The book 1984 was banned in the USSR and Soviet Union, but subsequently came back into print there. Its dystopian plot saw man born in laboratories and conditioned to play a pre-determined role in society. It has a checkered history in the US, as it discussed communism and restricted thinking. It is also banned in several other countries, including the UAE and the US. Its content also included descriptions of homosexuality and drugs.

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