Read a Never Published, “Subversive” Chapter from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

chocolate factory unpublished chapter

50 years after the pub­li­ca­tion of Roald Dahl’s beloved chil­dren’s book, Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­to­ry, The Guardian has post­ed online a nev­er-before-pub­lished draft of the book’s fifth chap­ter. It was cut from the first print­ed edi­tions of Dahl’s clas­sic, writes The Guardian, because it was con­sid­ered “too wild, sub­ver­sive and insuf­fi­cient­ly moral for the ten­der minds of British chil­dren.” You, the read­er liv­ing in 2014, will like­ly have a hard time fig­ur­ing out what the fuss was about.

The lost chap­ter, appro­pri­ate­ly illus­trat­ed by Sir Quentin Blake, begins:

The remain­ing eight chil­dren, togeth­er with their moth­ers and fathers, were ush­ered out into the long white cor­ri­dor once again.

“I won­der how Augus­tus Pot­tle and Miran­da Grope are feel­ing now?” Char­lie Buck­et asked his moth­er.

“Not too cocky, I should­n’t think” Mrs Buck­et answered. “Here – hold on to my hand, will you, dar­ling. That’s right. Hold on tight and try not to let go. And don’t you go doing any­thing sil­ly in here, either, you under­stand, or you might get sucked up into one of those dread­ful pipes your­self, or some­thing even worse maybe. Who knows?”

Lit­tle Char­lie took a tighter hold of Mrs Buck­et’s hand as they walked down the long cor­ri­dor. Soon they came to a door on which it said:


“Hey, this is where Augus­tus Pot­tle went to, isn’t it?” Char­lie Buck­et said.

“No”, Mr Won­ka told him. “Augus­tus Pot­tle is in Choco­late Fudge. This is Vanil­la. Come inside, every­body, and take a peek.”

The chap­ter con­tin­ues at The Guardian.

Relat­ed Free­bies: If you head over to Quentin Blake’s web site, you can find some items that are “fun & free” — like free e‑cards designed by Blake; free wall­pa­per for your iPhone, iPad and desk­top; and free draw­ings that you can col­or in. Mean­while offers The Roald Dahl Audio Col­lec­tion, which fea­tures Dahl him­self read­ing sec­tions from Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­to­ry. You can get the col­lec­tion for free by join­ing Audi­ble’s 30-day Free Tri­al pro­gram. Please read the details about the Free Tri­al pro­gram here, and know that we have a part­ner­ship with So, if you make a pur­chase, it will help sup­port Open Cul­ture.

via Men­tal Floss

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  • CEH_in_NJ says:

    I’m flum­moxed; why was this par­tic­u­lar draft chap­ter con­sid­ered too sub­ver­sive to print? Or did Dahl respond by writ­ing sub­se­quent sim­i­lar chap­ters until the edi­tor caved? I recall that he did­n’t shirk from fight­ing bat­tles of attri­tion with his edi­tors and pub­lish­ers when he was pro­voked.

  • Trevor says:

    Too bad the link to the rest at The Guardian no longer works.

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