Thomas Bowdler, born on this day in 1754, has achieved literary notoriety for his publication of The Family Shakespeare, a version that was edited so as to be more appropriate for women and children.
The term “bowdlerize” means “to change (a book, play, movie, etc.) by removing parts that could offend people.”
Bowdlerization exists today, as when a new version of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn was released with an offensive term replaced with one that is supposed to be less offensive.
It's a slippery slope, but it's pretty clear that we can all agree on one thing: Shakespeare's work does not improve after editing.
What's your take on bowdlerization?