Roald Dahl Publisher Will Try to Scam Conservatives by Selling Uncensored Books Alongside Woke Rewrites

British children's author, short-story writer, playwright and versifier Roald Dahl (1916 -
Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Getty Images

In a craven attempt to quell outrage from conservatives, the publisher of Roald Dahl’s children’s books has announced that it will continue to print copies of his original works – but they will print versions with woke edits to the texts as well.

Last week, it was revealed that hundreds of censorious changes were made to new editions of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, including celebrated classics such as James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and The Witches, among others, in order to supposedly “protect” youngsters from offensive language.

However, the edits, which clearly subscribed to modern woke dogma, such as unnecessarily gender-swapping characters, changing female characters from secretaries into scientists, and even changing “Cloud-Men” into “Cloud-People”, sparked widespread outrage as well as a run on old uncensored copies of his works.

Slightly backing down from its bowdlerisation of the books, the Penguin Random House Children’s publishing house announced on Friday that uncensored editions would continue to be published in addition to the woke copies.

It is unclear, however, how exactly the publisher will differentiate the two different versions of the books so that people do not inadvertently purchase the altered editions.

Speaking to Breitbart London, the General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, Toby Young, responded: “I think this is a step forward, but Puffin needs to go further and stick a banner on the woke versions of the book that says ‘CENSORED’ in massive letters. That way, people will know what they’re buying.”

Breitbart London contacted Penguin Radom House to see if trigger warnings would be placed on the original uncensored copies, however as of the time of publication they had not responded.

In a statement released on Friday, the managing director of Penguin Random House Children’s, Francesca Dow, said: “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 their 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.”

Ms Dow said that in offering two versions, it would allow people to “choose how they experience Dahl’s stories” — that is, the company will be able to continue to make money from the conservatives it has angered with “classic” versions of Dahl’s books while still butchering the editions for general consumption.

Should this trend continue beyond Dahl, however, it is conceivable that society could become bifurcated along the lines of what versions of books people read, with potentially half the population only knowing classics through a sanitised 1984-style lens.

The decision by the publishers to alter the texts has been roundly criticised, with even Queen Consort Camilla and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom coming out against the move.

In comments widely believed to be in reference to the censorship of Dahl, Queen Camilla told a group of authors this week: “[P]lease remain true to your calling, unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination. Enough said!”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “When it comes to our rich and varied literary heritage the Prime Minister agrees with the BFG that we shouldn’t gobblefunk around with words. It is important that works of literature, works of fiction, are preserved and not airbrushed.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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