Ian Fleming Publishing, which owns the rights to Ian Fleming’s works including the James Bond novels, has announced that they will be reissuing the famous spy novels with a handful of racial references removed and a disclaimer that the books “might use terms of attitudes considered offensive by modern readers.”
This April marks the 70 year anniversary of the publishing of Casino Royale, Fleming’s first book that features the famous James Bond character. The set of thrillers has been set to be reissued as a celebration of the anniversary.
The changes made to the novels include the removal of all mentions of the N-word, as well as references to the ethnicities of minor characters.
According to the Telegraph, the disclaimers given to the reissued books will state: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.”
“A number of updates have been made in this edition while keeping it as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.”
Ian Fleming Publications also told the Telegraph that they had “reviewed the text of the original Bond books and decided our best course of action was to follow Ian’s lead.”
“We have made changes to Live and Let Die that he himself authorized. Following Ian’s approach, we looked at the instances of several racial terms across the books and removed a number of individual words or else swapped them for terms that are more accepted today but in keeping with the period in which the books were written,” the statement read.
“We encourage people to read the books for themselves when they are reissued.”
In a similar fashion, a multitude of books by Roald Dahl were also changed after a review by sensitive readers.
In Dahl’s case, words and phrases such as “enormously fat” to describe a character were simply changed to “enormous.” The goal of these changes is to maintain the original feelings the books gave many generations growing up, with a layer of protection added for new modern readers.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.