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Roald Dahl: Outcry Over Woke Editing Succeeds

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

The publisher of Roald Dahl has announced that it will produce uncensored versions of his stories following a backlash over changes to his work.


Collection of Roald Dahl books
Collection of Roald Dahl books | Wikipedia

Puffin UK said it will be releasing The Roald Dahl Classic Collection, to keep the author’s "classic texts in print".


The publisher said it had "listened to the debate" and understood there were "very real questions around how stories can be kept relevant for new generations". Hundreds of references to weight, height, mental health, gender and skin colour had been removed, and new passages added by the publishers to "minimise offence".


In a statement, Francesca Dow, managing director 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."


Even the Queen Consort appeared to make her views on the matter public. Speaking at a Clarence House reception to mark the second anniversary of her online book club, she told assembled writers: “Please remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination.”


So, after the backlash against the woke editing of Dahl's classic stories, Puffin UK has announced it will publish both original and woke versions so that "readers - whether seven or 77 - have the choice to explore the stories in whichever way they wish."

 

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