Dahl was a lifelong chocoholic. When at school at Repton, he and his classmates were each periodically sent a box of prototype chocolates by Cadbury’s for market research. Dahl wrote: ‘For me, the importance of all this was that I began to realise that the large chocolate companies actually did possess inventing rooms and they took their inventing very seriously. I used to picture a long white room like a laboratory with pots of chocolate and fudge and all sorts of other delicious fillings bubbling away on the stoves, while men and women in white coats moved between the bubbling pots, tasting and mixing and concocting their wonderful new inventions. [...] It was lovely dreaming those dreams, and I have no doubt at all that, thirty-five years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly-invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in fact began life as a story written by Dahl in 1960 for his daughters, and was originally entitled 'Charlie’s Chocolate Boy'. In 1964 the book appeared in the USA with its familiar title but this had to be changed for the 1971 film to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because 'Charlie' was a slang term, synonymous with 'whitey'. This decision was later reversed with the Burton/Depp version of 2005, when 'Charlie' was reinstated in the title.
But would there really have been confectionery-inspired race riots in 1971?
Treglown, Jeremy: Roald Dahl: A Biography (1994)
Dahl, Roald: Boy (1986)
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