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A new adaptation of the classic novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover arrives on Netflix this winter, bringing the Literature Course to life for new audiences. What you may not know is how controversial the book’s history has been over the years. Today it’s the basis for a lively, sexy Netflix film, but it’s also been a frequent member of banned books lists, has been censored for decades, and has even been the subject of several landmark publicity, free speech, and profanity cases.
It is far from the only famous work of literature to have been banned. As we’ve all seen for ourselves (and just now) in recent years, book banning — the practice of removing books that are controversial, discuss difficult subjects, or are just too ahead of their time — is an all too common practice. You’re used to seeing classics like Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird on these lists, but there are plenty of other challenging books from the last few years – even through today – that are by book banners were attacked.
Check out our list for some of the most fascinating and important books to have been banned from literature over the last century!
— Additional reporting by Amanda Prahl