Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 

 

Roald Dahl suffered many attacks on his books by conservative literary critics, but one of the worst and most damaging skirmishes arose over the "Oompa–Loompas" in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
"In the version first published, [the Oompa–Loompas were] a tribe of 3,000 amiable black pygmies who have been imported by Mr. Willy Wonka from 'the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had been before.' Mr. Wonka keeps them in the factory, where they have replaced the sacked white workers. Wonka's little slaves are delighted with their new circumstances, and particularly with their diet of chocolate. Before they lived on green caterpillars, beetles, eucalyptus leaves, 'and the bark of the bong–bong tree.' "

Dahl's editors "saw the story as essentially Victorian in character –– a 'very English fantasy'" so they disregarded any racist misgivings about the story. Indeed, when the book first appeared in the United States in 1964 it was regarded with only acclaim and enthusiasm. It wasn't until 1972, nearly a decade later, that a wide–ranging attack on the book was published by American writer Eleanor Cameron and the political agenda of the story finally began to be debated.
After Dahl and Cameron had many public back–and–forths in various American literary journals (over much more than just charges of racism, Dahl's publishers decided that "to those growing up in a racially mixed society, the Oompa–Loompas were no longer acceptable as originally written. The following year, to accompany its new sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, a revised edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory appeared, in which the Oompa–Loompas had become dwarfish hippies with long 'golden–brown hair' and 'rosy–white' skin."

For the first time in a decade, Willy Wonka, the reclusive and eccentric chocolate maker, is opening his doors to the public – well, five members of the public to be exact. The lucky five who find a Golden Ticket in their Wonka chocolate bars will receive a private tour of the factory, given by Mr. Wonka himself. For young Charlie Bucket, this a dream come true. And, when he finds a dollar bill in the street, he can't help but buy two Wonka's Whipple–Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delights – even though his impoverished family could certainly use the extra dollar for food. But as Charlie unwraps the second chocolate bar, he sees the glimmer of gold just under the wrapper!
The very next day, Charlie, along with his unworthy fellow winners Mike Teavee, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and Augustus Gloop, steps through the factory gates to discover whether or not the rumors surrounding the Chocolate Factory and its mysterious owner are true. What they find is that the gossip can't compare to the extraordinary truth, and for Charlie, life will never be the same again. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, another unforgettable masterpiece from the legendary Roald Dahl, never fails to delight, thrill, and utterly captivate.
 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory First Edition Value

First edition: Red cloth boards, gilt lettering, embossed title on cover, unexpurgated edition with oompa-loompas describe as "pygmies" rather than midgets
First state has 6-line printing and binding colophon on last page. (2K~6k for Fine/fine)
Second state has 5-line publisher colophon on last page: (~600 for VG/VG, ~$200 for this version on Ebay). The top of the pages are stained chocolate brown. The end papers are mustard yellow and the boards are red fabric. Has 162 pages (not including the colophon). On page 73 is the reference to the pygmies. The dust jacket does not have the number (ISBN?) of 394-81011-2 in the lower rear corner. The original price in the dust jacket is $3.95. I have one copy in this VG/VG condition available for sale for $500.

At least one state with 4 line colophon has green boards. Another 4 line version has mustard fabric/cream boards. Still has pygmy reference on page 73.

The book club edition has red topstain.

First editions:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1964, USA.
Illustrated by Joseph Schindelman
Allen & Unwin, 1967, UK.
Illustrated by Faith Jaques
Revised edition:
Published in 1973.
Changed black pygmy Oompa–Loompas to white fantasy Oompa–Loompas.
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