Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: manuscript drafts and Roald Dahl's chocolate wrapper ball


When little Charlie Bucket finds the last golden ticket to Mr Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, he sets off on an irresistible adventure with his Grandpa Joe. Together they float down chocolate rivers, meet Oompa Loompas and fly through the roof in a great glass elevator. But they aren’t the only ones exploring the factory, and the other four lucky ticket finders are both very spoilt and very good at getting themselves into trouble...

How did Roald Dahl create the children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

Each child meets their own sticky end, and Roald Dahl enjoyed writing these so much that he wrote many more. The first draft of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features 10 children who get up to lots of naughty tricks, including Marvin Prune, Herpes Trout and Miranda Mary Piker.

In the first image – a page from the fourth draft – Miranda Mary Piker can’t resist diving into the chocolate river. She ends up in the peanut-brittle room. Here, Roald has used a typed version of a previous draft and stuck it onto the page, with new writing above and below on his favourite yellow paper.

Roald rewrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory many times until he got it right. By the fourth draft, he only had six children: the five we know, plus Miranda Mary Piker. Roald wanted small illustrations of each child to appear on the page, and he’s sketched his own in the version shown here.

Roald Dahl’s chocolate wrapper ball

It’s not just Charlie who loves chocolate – Roald loved it too. At his first job in London, before he was a writer, Roald saved hundreds of silver wrappers from his chocolate for a year. He rolled them all into a ball, which can fit into the palm of your hand. Do you think it would feel light or heavy?

Later in life, he ate a chocolate bar every evening after dinner. He would select one of his favourites – like a Kit Kat or Mars bar – from his red chocolate box.

Did you know?

The Oompa-Loompas were originally called the Whipple-Scrumpets!

The chocolate factory appeared in a previous book by Roald Dahl. As the giant peach from James and the Giant Peach is rolling down the hill, it crashes through a chocolate factory and a river of melted chocolate gushes out into the street.


                                                                        4th Draft




AUGUSTUS GLOOP              -                    A greedy boy  ^ (Pl[ease] leave spaces for small drawings)


MIRANDA MARY PIKER     -                    A girl who is allowed

                                                                       to do anything she wants ^ likes.


VERUCA SALT                      -                    A girl who is allowed

                                                                       to have anything she xxx ^ wants.


VIOLET BEAUREGARDE    -                    A girl who chews

                                                                       Gum all day long.


MIKE TEAVEE                       -                    A boy who is crazy

                                                                       about Television.


And the child we like best of all

                        CHARLIE        BUCKET

              “You think that’s funny?” snapped Mrs. Piker.

              “It’s Tragic,” said Mr. Wonka.

              “Look, Grandpa, look!” cried Charlie.  “The

Whipple-Scrumpets across the river are going to

sing again!”

              “Oh, Miranda Mary Piker!” sang the

five Whipple-Scrumpets, dancing about and laughing and

beating madly on their tiny drums.

              “Oh, Miranda Mary Piker,

              How could anybody like her,

              Such a rude and disobedient ^ stet little kid.

              So we said, ‘Why don’t we fix her

              In the peanut-brittle mixer

              Then we’re bound to like her better than we did.’

              Soon this child who is so vicious ^ stet

              Will have gotten quite delicious ^ stet

              And her parents ^ father will have surely understood

              That instead of saying, ‘Miranda!

              Oh, the beast!beast! weI cannot stand her!’

              They’ll ^ He’ll be saying, ‘Oh, how crunchy and how good!’”


              “Are they really joking, Grandpa?” asked


              “Of course they’re joking,” answered Grandpa Joe.  “They

must be joking.  At least, I hope they’re joking.  Don’t


Full title:
Manuscript and typescript pages from the fourth draft of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Ball of silver foil paper from Roald Dahl’s writing hut
1962 (drafts); 1934–1937 (chocolate wrapper ball)
Manuscript / Typescript / Draft / Object
Roald Dahl
Usage terms

© The Roald Dahl Story Company Limited, image courtesy of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. Please credit the copyright holder when reusing this work.

Held by
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
RD/2/7/5/91; RD/2/7/5/3; Ac1/158

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