By Lliam Stack, nytimes.com
The widow and the biographer of the beloved British children’s writer Roald Dahl told the BBC in an interview this week that Charlie Bucket, the young boy whose life is changed by a golden ticket in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” was originally supposed to be black.
“His first Charlie that he wrote about was a little black boy,” the widow, Felicity Dahl, said in the interview. It was timed to the author’s birthday, which fans of his work celebrate as Roald Dahl Day. He would have been 101.
Mrs. Dahl made the remark during a conversation with Donald Sturrock, her husband’s biographer, on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program. Mr. Sturrock said Mr. Dahl had understood “the American sensibility.” In response, Mrs. Dahl revealed the original idea for Charlie’s race and said she believed it had been “influenced by America.”