Roald Dahl’s original works will remain in print without change

Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (669876ns) Roald Dahl Writer for

Roald Dahl’s classic collection will be released alongside the edited version of the author’s classic works (Image: Shutterstock)

Puffin UK has announced the launch of a ‘Roald Dahl Classic Collection’ which aims to “preserve the author’s classic texts in print”, following criticism of a recent edit of his work to remove potentially offensive language.

The 17 titles will be available later this year and will include archival material relating to each of the beloved but controversial children’s author’s stories.

The classic collection will sit alongside the recently released Roald Dahl books for young readers, which have been rewritten to meet the sensibilities of modern audiences.

The Roald Dahl Story Company and Puffin Books conducted a review of Dahl’s classic works, which led to the removal or rewriting of content deemed offensive – including references to weight, mental health, violence, gender and race.

FILE - Roald Dahl books are displayed at Barney's store on East 60th Street in New York Monday, November 21, 2011. Critics accuse the publisher of Roald Dahl's classic children's books of censorship after it removed colorful language from stories such as ?? ?Charlie and the Chocolate Factory???  and ???Matilda???  to make them more acceptable to modern readers.  (AP Photo/Andrew Burton, File)

Dahl still regularly tops lists of the nation’s favorite author (Image: AP)

But critics, including acclaimed author Sir Salman Rushdie and later Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the changes.

On Friday, Francesca Dow, chief executive of Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “At Puffin we have been proudly publishing Roald Dahl’s stories for over 40 years in partnership with the Roald Dahl Story Company.

“Their mischievous spirit and unique storytelling genius have excited the imaginations of generations of readers.

“We heard last week’s debate affirming the extraordinary power of Roald Dahl’s books and the very real questions about 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 fantasy books are often the first stories young children will read independently, and nurturing the imaginations and rapidly developing minds of young readers is both a privilege and a responsibility.

“We also recognize the importance of preserving Dahl’s classic texts in print. Featuring both Puffin and Penguin editions, we give readers the choice to decide how they experience Roald Dahl’s magical, wonderful stories.

Roald Dahl once said, “If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important.” At Puffin, we will continue to pursue this ambition for as long as we make books.”

Roald Dahl books edited

The latest editions of Mr Dahl’s children’s books sparked backlash after it was found they had been edited to remove language that could be considered offensive (Image: PA)

The Roald Dahl Classic Collection will sit alongside the newly launched Puffin Roald Dahl books for young readers and readers will be free to choose which version of Dahl’s stories they prefer.

Dahl died in 1990 aged 74, but regularly tops lists of the country’s favorite authors. But his legacy has been tarnished by his anti-Semitic views.

In 2020, his family apologized, saying they recognized the “permanent and understandable hurt caused by Roald Dahl’s anti-Semitic statements.”

While the author of His Dark Materials, Sir Philip Pullman, suggested that Dahl’s works should be allowed to “fade” and go out of print as modern tastes move on.

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