Banned Books in Australia A Special Collections-Art in the Library Exhibition

Robert Close, Love Me Sailor (banned 1946)

Robert Close was jailed in March 1946 after his novel Love Me Sailor was found an ‘obscene libel’ under Victorian law. The prosecution took particular offence to a scene in which a ship’s crewmember takes a cabin boy for his first visit to a brothel while the ship is in port. ‘I shudder to think of the impression this book would make on young minds,’ the prosecutor observed.

On being released from prison, Close left Australia for 15 years. A Pan paperback edition was finally cleared in 1960 by the Appeal Censor, L. H. Allen, who described the book as ‘a remarkable achievement in the literature of the sea’.

top of page