Harold Robbins’ The "Betsy" and its Spanish translation under dictatorship: a race against censorship

Cristina Gómez Castro


Harold Robbins was one of the most prolific bestselling writers in the United States. He published The Betsy in 1971 and the story quickly became a bestseller. The history of this novel within the official book control system in Spain was not an uncomplicated one: the first time the censors read it, it was in the form of a translation into Spanish that had originated in Argentina. This translation, entitled Betsy, was deemed inadmissible by the censors, who denied its publication. However, publishers would sometimes resubmit the same book under another title or in another translation to get it published. This was the case with The Betsy, which was examined a second time by the censors and hence authorized. The story of this race against censorship is an interesting case study to understand how, in the space of three months, the book went from dangerous and reprehensible to morally acceptable.

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 ISSN 2184-4585