Author Profile

(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

Glyn published Three Weeks in 1907 in London. The novel’s story about a young man’s seduction by a sexually experienced and aggressive older woman (who was a member of the royal family) so shocked society that King Edward VII would not allow the book to be mentioned in his presence. By 1916, when the book’s first inexpensive edition appeared, it had sold almost two million copies in the United States and the British Empire, despite frequent attempts to ban it. Glyn’s stage adaptation was performed privately in 1908 but was denied a license for commercial production by Britain’s Lord Chamberlain.

In 1915 Glyn brought suit for copyright infringement against a burlesque of her novel called Pimple’s Three Weeks. The court ruled that immoral works did not have copyright protection and urged suppression of Glyn’s novel. Glyn wrote the screenplay for the 1924 Hollywood film version; in England the original title of the novel was banned, so the film was released there as The Romance of a Queen. In 1932 censors in Ohio reportedly banned a Mickey Mouse cartoon that showed a cow reading the novel. In 1934 a proposed sound version starring Gloria Swanson was shelved as a result of censorship pressures.