Bowdler, Thomas, 1754-1825, English editor. He is best known for his Family Shakespeare (10 vol., 1818), an expurgated edition for family reading that, although attacked for its prudery, was reprinted many times. Bowdler also edited (omitting passages of an irreligious or immoral tendency) selections from the Old Testament (1822) and Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (6 vol., 1826). His editorial activities gave rise to the term bowdlerize, which means to expurgate a book by deleting sections considered indelicate.
Bowdler, a prominent Shropshire family descended from Baldwin de Boulers.

People with the given name Bowdler:

People with the surname Bowdler:

  • Cal Bowdler (born 1977), retired American professional basketball player
  • Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), English physician, author/editor of the Family Shakespeare (1818), source of the expression: 'to Bowdlerise'

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