On Friday, Puffin, the publisher of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, announced they were releasing uncensored “classic texts” of Dahl’s body of work through their parent company, Penguin, following backlash. That backlash, from PEN America, readers, and lovers of literature was against the publishing house for making hundreds of changes to the works after “sensitivity readers” deemed some of Dahl’s original language offensive to modern readers.
According to the publisher’s website, “Puffin announces today the release of The Roald Dahl Classic Collection, to keep the author’s classic texts in print. These seventeen titles will be published under the Penguin logo, as individual titles in paperback, and will be available later this year. The books will include archive material relevant to each of the stories.”
The Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children’s division, Francesca Dow, said, “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,” Dow said. “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.”
The change comes after the Telegraph published details last week on how Puffin consulted with Inclusive Minds, a “collective for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature,” and subsequently made changes in the author’s language regarding mental health, violence, gender, weight, and race that ranged from full portions being rewritten or cut.