A ‘lost’ chapter of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, cut from the book 50 years ago for being “too wild and subversive” for children, has been published for the first time today in Saturday’s Guardian Review.
The never-before-seen chapter describes an extra room in Willy Wonka’s factory called the “Vanilla Fudge Room”. The text was found among Roald Dahl’s papers after his death and is believed to be chapter five, of one of many early drafts of the beloved children’s book, which was published in the UK in 1967.
In The Vanilla Fudge Room, Charlie Bucket (accompanied by his mother instead of his grandfather) and the other children face the sinister prospect of the Pounding and Cutting Room. The chapter, which reveals the original larger cast of characters and their fates, was felt by publishers to be insufficiently moral for the minds of children when it was released.
The lost words
An excerpt reads: “In the centre of the room there was an actual mountain, a colossal jagged mountain as high as a five-storey building, and the whole thing was made of pale-brown, creamy, vanilla fudge. All the way up the sides of the mountain, hundreds of men were working away with picks and drills, hacking great hunks of fudge out of the mountainside… As the huge hunks of fudge were pried loose, they went tumbling and bouncing down the mountain and when they reached the bottom they were picked up by cranes with grab-buckets, and the cranes dumped the fudge into open wagons.”
In the chapter, two boys named Timmy Troutbeck and “a rather bumptious little boy called Wilbur Rice”, along with their vile parents, shout abuse at Willy Wonka’s warnings, and scramble into the wagons and are carried off through a hole in the wall.
“That hole,” says Mr Wonka, “leads directly to what we call the Pounding and Cutting Room. In there the rough fudge gets tipped out of the wagons into the mouth of a huge machine. The machine then pounds it against the floor until it is all nice and smooth and thin. After that, a whole lot of knives come down and go chop chop chop, cutting it up into neat little squares, ready for the shops.”
High on the mountain, the workers – who have not yet become the Oompa Loompas – sing, “Eight little children, such charming little chicks. But two of them said ‘Nuts to you’, and then there were six.”
In the final version of the novel, Dahl included just five Golden Ticket winners.
The chapter is revealed ahead of next week’s release of Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, a book on the story behind the much-loved children’s novel by writer Lucy Mangan. Mangan’s book will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first edition.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, publishers Penguin created a new cover for the book aimed at their adult customers. The cover, which depicts a heavily made-up young girl and her mother, was widely criticised by readers when it was released in July for being “overtly sexualised”.
Users took to Penguin’s Facebook page to say the cover was more fitting of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel about a paedophile, Lolita.
Roald Dahl fans have reacted with confusion and horror as publishers Penguin revealed the cover for their new edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The new design has been created to celebrate 50 years since the classic children’s book was published, but Facebook users – who were first to see the new cover – have said they are “disappointed” with the company for overtly “sexualising what is supposed to be a children’s novel” in a “creepy” way.
Comparisons have been drawn to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, a book about the protagonist’s sexual obsession with young girls, as the cover depicts a heavily-made up child with long blonde hair, sitting with her equally doll-like mother, whose bare legs also dominate the cover.
The Penguin Modern Classics edition is aimed at the adult market and, according to the publisher, the unsettling image reflects the way Dahl’s writing “manages to embrace both the light and dark aspects of life.”
“I’m not sure why adults need a different cover anyway, but who was it who decided that ‘adult’ meant ‘inappropriately sexualised’?”
– Giles Paley-Phillips, children’s author
The girl is not intended to be either Violet Beauregarde or Veruca Salt, the spoiled female characters in the beloved novel, but is in fact a representation of the “twisted” parent-child relationships depicted in the book, say Penguin.
Penguin unveiled the cover, which has been approved by the deceased author’s literary estate, on its Facebook page after first posting the image without the title and asking users to guess which novel it accompanied.
When it was revealed to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the backlash was immediate.
Award-winning children’s author Giles Paley-Phillips said: “I’m not sure why adults need a different cover anyway, but who was it who decided that ‘adult’ meant ‘inappropriately sexualised’?”
Others deemed it “grotesque” and “distasteful and disrespectful to a gifted author and his work” calling for Penguin to rethink the cover entirely and offering alternative suggestions.
The edition will be available for sale from September 4.