I've just read the booklet for the first time and, as expected, the Craig Lapper piece is the goldmine here. It's seven pages long (six and a half of full text), and it fully lives up to advance billing, since it constitutes by far the most detailed account of the censorship of The Devils
that I've ever read.
He doesn't just describe each cut in detail, but also who requested its removal - the film was formally submitted to the BBFC on 9 February 1971 (Russell having already had informal talks with the BBFC's John Trevelyan), but on 12 February they received a letter from Warner Bros detailing ten mandatory changes that Russell was obliged to make on pain of the film not being distributed at all. Interestingly, Trevelyan didn't take all of these on board - Lapper highlights the differences of opinion as follows:
The extent to which the BBFC's objections coincide with those of the studio is quite striking, although there are some local differences. In particular, the BBFC objected to shots of Grandier burning and the woman dying during the plague sequence, whereas the studio appears not to have had a problem with these. By contrast, the studio asks for reductions in the scene in which the nuns have sex with one another, which does not appear to have troubled the BBFC.
Anyway, it's superb stuff - all sources are dated where possible, allowing a very detailed chronological timeline of a process that ultimately lasted until 19 May. It also reveals at the end that the significantly toned-down US cut gradually became the dominant one around the world - for instance, all but one of the domestic video releases that it's had legally have been of the US cut, the exception (till now) being the 1997 UK VHS release, which was cropped to 16:9, but which is otherwise the same version as the one on this DVD.