Publisher concedes, will print Roald Dahl’s original work, alongside censored editions of children’s classics

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After weeks of heated public condemnation over the censorship of a beloved children’s author, Penguin announced on Friday that it will release the original “Roald Dahl Classic Collection,” to keep the author’s classic texts in print in their original format, even while a subsidiary of the publisher is releasing “sanitized” versions of the popular children’s books in order to conform with the goals of “inclusivity, diversity, and equity.”

“These seventeen titles will be published under the Penguin logo, as individual titles in paperback, and will be available later this year. The books will include archive material relevant to each of the stories,” Penguin said in a press release.

Dahl’s books have sold more than 300 million copies and he is considered one of the greatest children’s authors of the 20th century. The British author’s books have been turned into at least 20 movies.

The Roald Dahl Classic Collection will sit alongside the newly released Puffin Roald Dahl books for young readers, which are designed for children who may be navigating written content independently for the first time. Readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl’s stories they prefer,” the publisher said.

Over the past few months, Penguin has been rewriting hundreds of passages from Dahl’s books to make them more politically correct, removing words like “fat” from every Dahl book, and erasing perceived racial or cultural stereotypes.

The words “black” and “white” have been amputated from all of the new editions of Dahl books, regardless of the context.

Men are no longer “men.” Now they now “people.”

The words “crazy” and “mad” have been eliminated.

In “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” written in 1964, the character of Augustus Gloop, is now described as “enormous” rather than “enormously fat,” as Dahl’s had written in the original edition.

In “James and the Giant Peach,” a section reads: “Aunt Sponge was terrifically fat / And tremendously flabby at that.” That was edited by the inclusivity editors to read, “Aunt Sponge was a nasty old brute / And deserved to be squashed by the fruit.” 

Somehow it was decided by the editors that using “old” as a pejorative is fine, but describing someone as terrifically fat and flabby is not fine.

Then again, maybe “old” is not a good word in the newspeak of political correctness. In the Dahl book, “Witches,” an “old hag” has been revised to an “old crow.” A supernatural woman posing as normal woman is described by as being someone who is a “top scientist or running a business” rather than a “cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman,” as Dahl had originally written.

Also, the new inclusivity version puts a disclaimer on a passage that describes witches as secretly bald.

“There are plenty of other reasons why women might wear wigs and there is certainly nothing wrong with that,” the disclaimer says.

“At Puffin we have proudly published Roald Dahl’s stories for more than forty years in partnership with the Roald Dahl Story Company.  Their mischievous spirit and his unique storytelling genius have delighted the imaginations of readers across many generations.  We’ve listened to the debate over the past week which has reaffirmed the extraordinary power of Roald Dahl’s books and the very real questions around how stories from another era can be kept relevant for each new generation,” said Francesca Dow, of Penguin Random House Children’s Books.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Woke idiots.

    I’m going to enjoy when they come for the icons of the left. And don’t look to people like me to help you then.

    King gets nailed for me too. Che for blatantly being racist. Native Son has “that word” in it. It will be glorious

    • Yep. Cesar Chavez called farm pickers “wetb@cks”
      He (rationally) claimed that w*tbacks were keeping farm workers pay low by coming to CA illegally & working for less, thus undermining the farm workers strikes for better conditions & wages.
      CANCEL HIM!

  2. It’s going to be incredible to see the newly woke version flop on Random House’s face. Glad I already have some of his classics in our library.

  3. Books are so different than when I was a kid. When I read books selected by their Mother for my grandchildren the stories modeled making fun of others based upon appearances.” I cannot be a friend to some one as funny looking as you…why you have purple skin and pink dots on your head!”

  4. After the “guardians” cleanse the children’s books they’ll start scrubbing away at Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” For those of us who’ve enjoyed the “Tales, we’ll have our memories sanitized! And if you have already read the “Song of Songs”–well, your soul is lost forever!

  5. I will not read them in a house.
    I will not read them with a mouse.
    I will not read them here or there.
    I will not read them anywhere.
    I will not read your PC spam
    I will not read them, Woke-I-Am.

  6. So, the plan is…
    Because there was some injustice years ago, we now need to deliberately create a new injustice to make up for it.
    .
    Know who thinks that is a good idea? Children. (and leftists, but I repeat myself.)

  7. Penguin Random House is ultimately owned by a German private foundation, The Bertelsmann Stiftung. Its “about us” statement says its projects, studies and events, stimulates debate and provides impetus for social change.
    There you go. Should be boycotted.

  8. The leftist democrats took down the statues of their democrat Confederate Generals in an effort to erase their Pro Slavery history. Uncensored books used to be the left’s forte. No more…

  9. From:
    Why ‘The Right Not To Be Offended’ Is Offensive
    By: Andrew I. Fillat and Henry I. Miller – February 20, 2023
    Available on Issues and Insights (issuesinsights dot com)
    .
    “The expectation of receiving emotional shelter has now infected multiple younger generations, so that children and young adults have been conditioned to constantly be alert for anything they deem to be offensive, and they have developed highly tuned antennae for it.”
    .
    “The most sensitive person in an audience has become the schoolyard bully writ large. Authorities capitulate to this abusive bullying and support toxic overprotection out of pure cowardice, fear for their own positions, the warm glow they experience from virtue-signaling, or because they have newfound control.”
    .
    It is a good read, and it does a pretty good job of summing up the mindset/reason why we have this BS happening.

  10. “Boy” is my favorite.
    It is an autobiography of Dahl’s boyhood in England (& summers in Norway)
    He wrote it to show young people (& us all) how very, very different a childhood was in our grandparents day, before the “government” decided it must protect us all at ALL costs.
    It is a classic!

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