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Children's Literature

Roald Dahl’s books edited to remove potentially offensive language

Edits reportedly include removing the word ‘fat’ from every book.

THE LATEST EDITIONS of Roald Dahl’s children’s books have been edited to remove language which could be deemed offensive.

References within the classic children’s books relating to weight, mental health, violence, gender and race have been cut and rewritten, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Edits reportedly include removing the word “fat” from every book, Augustus Gloop in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is now described as “enormous” and The Cloud-Men in James And The Giant Peach have become Cloud-People.

The Roald Dahl Story Company confirmed it began a review into the books alongside publishers Puffin in 2020, and that any changes made were “small and carefully considered”.

arts-booksdahl PA Photos PA Photos


A spokesperson for the Roald Dahl Story Company said: “We want to ensure that Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today.

“When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, it’s not unusual to review the language used alongside updating other details including a book’s cover and page layout.

“Our guiding principle throughout has been to maintain the storylines, characters, and the irreverence and sharp-edged spirit of the original text.

“Any changes made have been small and carefully considered.”

The company added that it had worked alongside Inclusive Minds, a collective for people working towards inclusion and accessibility in children’s literature.

The review was launched before Netflix bought the rights to Dahl’s entire catalogue of children’s books in 2021.

The streaming giant said its acquisition will allow it to create a “unique universe” with the author’s classic tales, such as Matilda, The BFG and The Witches, and including films, TV series, spin-off games, immersive experiences and theatre shows.

Dahl died in 1990 at the age of 74 but has since regularly topped lists of the nation’s favourite authors and his stories continue to be beloved by children around the world.

However, this is not the first time he has come under scrutiny as in 2020, Dahl’s family apologised for antisemitic comments made by the author.

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