Thomas Bowdler Biography

Medical Professional, Editor (1754–1825)
Thomas Bowdler was a physician and self-appointed editor of great literature. He published The Family Shakespeare, a family friendly version of Shakespearean works, in 1807, and gave rise to the term "Bowdlerized."


Thomas Bowdler was born on July 11, 1754, near Bath, Somerset, England. A physician, Bowdler published The Family Shakespeare—considered at the time a more "appropriate" version of many Shakespearean plays for women and children—in 1807. Bowdler gave a similar treatment to Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The term "Bowdlerized" was coined after his work. Bowdler died on February 24, 1825.

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