Celebrity

Roald Dahl Publisher Forced Into Huge U-Turn In Decision To Edit 'Offensive' Language From Books

Roald Dahl's books will continue to be sold in their original, unedited form, alongside newly edited versions that have had potentially offensive language removed.

Penguin, which publishes Dahl's works under its Puffin label, announced plans to release a "classic collection" in response to the backlash against the rewrites.

Dahl has long been a somewhat polarizing figure, despite being widely considered one of the greatest children's authors of all time.

Critics have long argued that some of Dahl's creations are not particularly politically correct, and the author himself has made several controversial statements over the course of his life.

Years after Dahl's death, controversy has arisen over plans to republish edited versions of his books, which remove elements that some argue are outdated or offensive.

These include references to weight, violence, mental health, race, and gender, and not everyone is pleased with the changes.

Sir Salman Rushdie, who has faced his own share of controversy and threats due to his literature, including "The Satanic Verses," has referred to the decision as "absurd censorship."

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also weighed in on the controversy, taking the opportunity to quote a term coined by Dahl "gobblefunk", and urging that the original text remain unaltered.

Meanwhile, Queen Consort Camilla made her first public appearance since recovering from COVID-19, using the occasion to launch a book project formerly known as The Reading Room, which will now be called The Queen's Reading Room.

In her remarks to the assembled guests, Camilla thanked authors for their contributions to promoting literacy and a passion for reading among book lovers and clubs everywhere.

"Please keep doing so and 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."

In any case, the 17 unedited "classic" versions of Dahl's books will be published alongside the newly edited versions, which have been tailored to suit the sensitivities of modern readers.

The classic editions will feature relevant archive material as well as unabridged versions of the stories. Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin, commented on the decision:

"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."

"At Puffin we have proudly published Roald Dahl's stories for more than 40 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."

Penguin stated that they made this decision because they acknowledge the significance of keeping Dahl's classic texts available in the market.