Eleanor Cameron vs. Roald Dahl

Not everyone loved Dahl’s work or thought it was good for children. One of his most prominent critics was Eleanor Cameron, a fellow children’s author. In 1972 she wrote an article published in The Horn Book which looked at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the context of Marshal McLuhan‘s theories about media. Among other things, she wrote that Charlie was “one of the most tasteless books ever written for children.” Dahl couldn’t resist the bait and fired back. The resulting controversy is well-documented on the Horn Book website*, and may have contributed to the evolution of the Oompa-Loompas in subsequent printings.

* As the Horn Book website is currently returning a 404 error for the page, I’ve linked to it on Archive.org. The other links all still work.