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Later Monitor

13:49 UK time, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Let's kick things off with a sexually charged extract from one of today's papers.

"His hand passed over the curves of her body, firmly, without desire, but with soft, intimate knowledge. As she ran home in the twilight the world seemed a dream; the trees in the park seemed bulging and surging at anchor on a tide, and the heave of the slope to the house was alive."

Permit Paper Monitor to loosen the collar a little and mop its perspiring brow. No, this is not a leaked copy of Lembit Opik's Daily Sport column. It's from the Times. Admittedly not the main paper. Rather a supplement - in the form of a free copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover.

The abundance of fruity language makes it a slightly risqué choice to give away. And Paper Monitor couldn't help but wonder how the Thunderer had received the controversial decision to publish DH Lawrence's classic work after it was cleared by jury in a 1960 obscenity trial.

Scrolling back 49 years, it seems this bedrock of the British establishment took a pretty enlightened view, welcoming the publication although cautioning it was a challenge to society to temper itself.. yadda, yadda...

But it's hard to resist raising a smile at the way such matters were discussed in those days.

"He depicts no perverted vice; his characters do not indulge in unnatural practices or abhorrent acts. There is no nastiness in his approach."

This, clearly, was not an audience ready for the literary outings of Timothy Mo and his ilk.

Paper Monitor also idly wonders whether the Times would have been receptive to the idea of a nominative determinism strand in its letters page, after the chairman of Penguin books defended the decision to publish LCL.

"It is difficult to compare the honesty of this novel with the tawdry perversions which now appear to escape official notice..."

Take a bow Mr Robert Lusty.

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