how the first draft of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory was wildly different (including that Charlie was black)

from Storyteller, by Donald Sturrock, p415 – I am loving this book.

"At the beginning, there were no Oompa-Loopa factory workers and no Grandpa Joe to look after Charlie. Nor were any of the child grotesques present in their final form. Characters who were eventually eliminated from the adventure or substantially altered included Elvira Entwistle (the prototype of Veruca Salt), Miranda Grope (who fell into the chocolate river), Tommy Troutbeck (who disobeyed Wonka and ended up in the Pounding and Cutting Room), Bertie Upside (who overheats after eating too many warming candies), Marvin Prune, Violet Stabismus and Herpes Trout. The plot, too, was quite different. It was a detective story in which Charlie strayed from Wonka’s gaze long enough to be accidentally coated in quick-drying chocolate. Mistaken for one of Wonka’s giant ‘chocolate boys,’ he is delivered as an Easter present to Wonka’s son, Freddie. Trapped inside his chocolate shell, and left overnight in Wonka’s home, Charlie witnesses a burglary. The following morning, when he has been liberated from his cocoa prison, he helps identify the thieves and is rewarded by Wonka with a huge sweetshop of his own. … Most strikingly perhaps, in the early drafts, Dahl described Charlie as a ‘small NEGRO boy,’ who boldly confronts Wonka…"


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