Roald Dahl Publisher to Rerelease Author’s Original Texts After Editing Controversy: ‘We Are Offering Readers the Choice’
Publisher Puffin U.K. will release “The Roald Dahl Classic Collection,” which will have the author’s original texts.
“The Roald Dahl Classic Collection” will be available 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,” Puffin said. “Readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl’s stories they prefer.”
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Last week, Puffin was in the eye of a storm when it emerged that the works of Dahl, who died in 1990, had been rewritten, with the phrase “enormously fat” edited to just “enormous” and “most formidable female” to “most formidable woman” among numerous other examples from his most famous books. People who opposed the edits include author Salman Rushdie, who described it as “absurd censorship,” and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The original versions will be released under the Penguin logo and will include archive material relevant to each of the stories.
Several of the author’s works have been adapted as films.
Francesca Dow, MD of Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “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.
“As a children’s publisher, our role is to share the magic of stories with children with the greatest thought and care. Roald Dahl’s fantastic books are often the first stories young children will read independently, and taking care for the imaginations and fast-developing minds of young readers is both a privilege and a responsibility.
“We also recognise the importance of keeping Dahl’s classic texts in print. By making both Puffin and Penguin versions available, we are offering readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl’s magical, marvellous stories.”
“Roald Dahl once said: ‘If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important.’ At Puffin, we’ll keep pursuing that ambition for as long as we make books.”
The seventeen titles that will be published later this year as “The Roald Dahl Classic Collection are: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda,” “The BFG,” “Fantastic Mr Fox,” “George’s Marvellous Medicine,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “The Witches,” “The Twits,” “The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me,” “The Enormous Crocodile,” “Esio Trot,” “Billy and the Minpins,” “The Magic Finger,” “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator,” “Danny the Champion of the World,” “Revolting Rhymes” and “Dirty Beasts.”
Netflix acquired the Roald Dahl Company in 2021. The edit process was set in motion before the acquisition.
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