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The Bawd of Avon

July 09, 2006

Tuesday is Bowdler's Day, honoring Thomas Bowdler, who took a scrub brush to the work of the Bard and published "The Family Shakespeare" in the early 1800s. What did he bowdlerize? For instance, instead of committing suicide, Ophelia drowned. "We still tend to whitewash things," says Suzanne Dean of Shakespeare by the Sea, based in Redondo Beach. Gwyneth Paltrow, at right, was hardly chaste in 1998's "Shakespeare in Love," for which she won an Oscar. Even in that movie, though, there is a bit of decorum, with "bubbies" standing for "breasts" in one line. It is, however, rated R.

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