A long-lost chapter deemed too “wild” for publication in Roald Dahl’s acclaimed novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been found.
The chapter, which numbered fifth in some of his early drafts, focused on “The Vanilla Fudge Room” and reveals a boatload of details about how the manuscript changed in the process of Dahl’s writing. For one thing, Charlie is accompanied by his mother, as opposed to his grandfather. Plus, there were initially a lot more kids with Charlie in the early drafts.
According to the Guardian’s full report, the chapter was apparently “deemed too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children almost 50 years ago,” so it stayed on the cutting-room floor — or, in this case, in Dahl’s forgotten notebook.
It’s fascinating to see how the story changed along the way, as well as to get a peek into the slightly darker side of Dahl’s take on the story. Considering that the novel has sold more than 30 million copies and been adapted into two successful films, it’s nice to remember that it all started as a weird little story in Dahl’s notebook.
Read an excerpt from the piece below, and check out the complete chapter as recently published at The Guardian:
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:
THE VANILLA FUDGE ROOM
"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."
They went into another cavernous room, and here again a really splendid sight met their eyes.
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; and some of them, those that were high up in dangerous places, were roped together for safety.
What do you think of the chapter? Would it have been a good addition to the novel?
(Via The Guardian)