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Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl in 1954
Born 13 September 1916(1916-09-13)
Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales
Died 23 November 1990 (aged 74)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Occupation Novelist, short story writer
Language English, Norwegian, Swahili
Genres Children's, adults' literature, horror, mystery, fantasy
Notable work(s) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Witches, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, The BFG
Spouse(s) Patricia Neal (1953–1983; divorced; 5 children)
Felicity Ann d'Abreu Crosland (1983–1990; his death)
Signature
Official website

Roald Dahl (English pronunciation: /ˈroʊ.ɑːl ˈdɑːl/,[2] Norwegian: [ˈɾuːɑl dɑl]; 13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter.

Born in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, to Norwegian parents, he served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent. He rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors. His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often very dark humour.

Some of his better-known works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG.

Contents

Early life

Roald Dahl was born at Villa Marie, Fairwater Road, Llandaff, Glamorgan, in 1916, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (née Hesselberg).[3] Dahl's father had moved from Sarpsborg in Norway and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s. His mother came over to marry his father in 1911. Dahl was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway at the time. He spoke Norwegian at home with his parents and sisters, Astri, Alfhild, and Else. Dahl and his sisters were christened at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped. Dahl first attended The Cathedral School, Llandaff. At the age of eight, he and four of his friends (one named Thwaites) were caned by the headmaster after putting a dead rat in a jar of gobstoppers at the local sweet shop, which was owned by a "mean and loathsome" old woman called Mrs Pratchett who would always force them to buy sweets. This was known amongst the five boys as the "Great Mouse Plot of 1924". This was Roald's own idea.

Thereafter, he was sent to several boarding schools in England, including Saint Peter's in Weston-super-Mare. His parents had wanted Roald to be educated at a British public school and, at the time, because of a then regular ferry link across the Bristol Channel, this proved to be the nearest. His time at Saint Peter's was an unpleasant experience for him. He was very homesick and wrote to his mother almost every day, but never revealed to her his unhappiness, being under the pressure of school censorship. Only after her death in 1967 did he find out that she had saved every single one of his letters, in small bundles held together with green tape. He later attended Repton School in Derbyshire, where, according to his autobiography Boy: Tales of Childhood, a friend named Michael was viciously caned by headmaster Geoffrey Fisher, the man who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury and crowned the Queen in 1953. (However, according to Dahl's biographer Jeremy Treglown,[4] the caning took place in May 1933, a year after Fisher had left Repton. The headmaster concerned was in fact J.T. Christie, Fisher's successor.) This caused Dahl to "have doubts about religion and even about God".[5] He was never seen as a particularly talented writer in his school years, with one of his English teachers writing in his school report "I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended,"[6] -31959-3|title=Roald Dahl’s Incredible Chocolate Box}}</ref>

Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Dahl spent his summer holidays with his mother's family in their native Norway. His childhood and first job selling kerosene in Midsomer Norton and surrounding villages in Somerset are the subject of his autobiographical work, Boy: Tales of Childhood.

After finishing his schooling, he spent three weeks hiking through Newfoundland with the Public Schools' Exploring Society (now known as BSES Expeditions).

Career

In July 1934, Dahl joined the Shell Petroleum Company. Following two years of training in the UK, he was transferred to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Along with the only two other Shell employees in the entire territory, he lived in luxury in the Shell House outside Dar-es-Salaam, with a cook and personal servants. While out on assignments supplying oil to customers across Tanganyika, he encountered black mambas and lions, amongst other wildlife.[5]

World War II

Roald Dahl
Died 1990
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army (August-November 1939)
 Royal Air Force (November 1939 – 1945)
Years of service 1939–1945
Rank Wing Commander
Battles/wars World War II
Other work Author

In August 1939, as World War II loomed, plans were made to round up the hundreds of Germans in Dar-es-Salaam. Dahl was made an officer in the King's African Rifles, commanding a platoon of Askaris, indigenous troops serving in the colonial army.

In November 1939, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force. After a 600-mile (970 km) car journey from Dar-es-Salaam to Nairobi, he was accepted for flight training with 20 other men, and was one of only three who survived the war, as the other 17 died in combat. With seven hours and 40 minutes experience in a De Havilland Tiger Moth, he flew solo; Dahl enjoyed watching the wildlife of Kenya during his flights. He continued on to advanced flying training in Iraq, at RAF Habbaniya, 50 miles (80 km) west of Baghdad. Following six months' training on Hawker Harts, Dahl was made a Pilot Officer.

He was assigned to No. 80 Squadron RAF, flying obsolete Gloster Gladiators, the last biplane fighter aircraft used by the RAF. Dahl was surprised to find that he would not receive any specialised training in aerial combat, or in flying Gladiators. On 19 September 1940, Dahl was ordered to fly his Gladiator from Abu Sueir in Egypt, on to Amiriya to refuel, and again to Fouka in Libya for a second refuelling. From there he would fly to 80 Squadron's forward airstrip 30 miles (48 km) south of Mersa Matruh. On the final leg, he could not find the airstrip and, running low on fuel and with night approaching, he was forced to attempt a landing in the desert. The undercarriage hit a boulder and the aircraft crashed, fracturing his skull, smashing his nose, and temporarily blinding him. He managed to drag himself away from the blazing wreckage and passed out. Later, he wrote about the crash for his first published work.

Dahl was rescued and taken to a first-aid post in Mersa Matruh, where he regained consciousness, but not his sight, and was then taken by train to the Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. There he fell in and out of love with a nurse, Mary Welland. Dahl had fallen in love with her voice while he was blind, but once he regained his sight, he decided that he no longer loved her. An RAF inquiry into the crash revealed that the location to which he had been told to fly was completely wrong, and he had mistakenly been sent instead to the no man's land between the Allied and Italian forces.[7]

In February 1941, Dahl was discharged from hospital and passed fully fit for flying duties. By this time, 80 Squadron had been transferred to the Greek campaign and based at Eleusina, near Athens. The squadron was now equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. Dahl flew a replacement Hurricane across the Mediterranean Sea in April 1941, after seven hours flying Hurricanes. By this stage in the Greek campaign, the RAF had only 18 combat aircraft in Greece: 14 Hurricanes and four Bristol Blenheim light bombers. Dahl saw his first aerial combat on 15 April 1941, while flying alone over the city of Chalcis. He attacked six Junkers Ju-88s that were bombing ships and shot one down. On 16 April in another air battle, he shot down another Ju-88.

On 20 April 1941, Dahl took part in the "Battle of Athens", alongside the highest-scoring British Commonwealth ace of World War II, Pat Pattle and Dahl's friend David Coke. Of 12 Hurricanes involved, five were shot down and four of their pilots killed, including Pattle. Greek observers on the ground counted 22 German aircraft downed, but because of the confusion of the aerial engagement none of the pilots knew who they shot down. Dahl described it as "an endless blur of enemy fighters whizzing towards me from every side."

The wing returned back to Elevsis. Later on in the day, the aerodrome was strafed by Bf 109s, but none of them hit any of the Hawker Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were then evacuated on 21 April 1941 to a small, secret airfield near Megara, a small village, where the pilots hid. Approximately 50 miles (80 km) north the Luftwaffe was searching for the remaining Hurricanes. By approximately 6 or 7 a.m., about thirty Bf-109s and Stuka dive-bombers flew over the seven pilots who were hiding. The Stukas dived bombed a tanker in the Bay of Athens, and sank it. Dahl and his comrades were only 500 yards (460 m) away from the incident. Surprisingly, neither the bombers nor the fighters were able to spot the Hurricanes parked in the nearby field. At some time in the afternoon, an Air Commodore arrived at the airfield by car and asked if one of the seven could volunteer to fly and deliver a package to a man named Carter at Elevsis. Roald Dahl was the only one who volunteered to do it. The contents of the package were of vital importance, and Dahl was told that if he was shot down, or captured, he should burn the package immediately, so it would not fall into enemy hands, and once he had handed over the package, he was to fly to Argos, an airfield, with the rest of the seven pilots in the squadron.

For the rest of April, the situation was horrible for the RAF in Greece. If the Luftwaffe had destroyed the remaining seven planes, they would then have had complete control of the skies in Greece. They intended to wipe them out. If the squadron were to be found, it would mean the worst. According to Dahl's report, at about 4:30 p.m. a Bf 110 swooped over the airfield at Argos, and found them. The pilots discussed that it would take the 110 roughly half an hour to return to base, and then another half hour for the whole enemy squadron to get ready for take-off, and then another half hour for them to reach Argos. They had roughly an hour and thirty minutes until they would be strafed by enemy aircraft. However, instead of having the remaining seven pilots airborne and intercepting the 110s an hour ahead, the CO ordered them to escort ships evacuating their army in Greece at 6:00. The seven planes got up into the air, but the formation was quickly disorganised as the radios were not working. Dahl and Coke found themselves separated from the rest of the wing. They could not communicate with them, so they continued on flying, looking for the ships to escort. Eventually they ran out of fuel and returned back to Argos, where they found the entire airfield in smoke and flames, with tents flamed, ammunition destroyed, etc.; however there were few casualties. While Roald Dahl and David Coke took off, three other aircraft in the wing somehow managed to get away. The sixth pilot who was taking off was strafed by the enemy and killed. The seventh pilot managed to bail out. Everybody else in the camp was hiding in the slit trenches. Immediately after Dahl and Coke figured out what was going on, the squadron was sent to Crete. A month later they were evacuated to Egypt.

As the Germans were pressing on Athens, Dahl was evacuated to Egypt. His squadron was reassembled in Haifa. From there, Dahl flew sorties every day for a period of four weeks, shooting down a Vichy French Air Force Potez 63 on 8 June and another Ju-88 on 15 June, but he then began to get severe headaches that caused him to black out. He was invalided home to Britain. By this time his rank was Flight Lieutenant.

Dahl began writing in 1942 after he was transferred to Washington, D.C. as Assistant Air Attaché. His first published work, in the 1 August 1942 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, was "Shot Down Over Libya" which described the crash of his Gloster Gladiator. C. S. Forester had asked Dahl to write down some RAF anecdotes so that he could shape them into a story. After Forester read what Dahl had given him, he decided to publish the story exactly as Dahl had written it. The original title of the article was "A Piece of Cake" but the title was changed to sound more dramatic - despite the fact that the he was not shot down at all.[7]

During the war, Forester worked for the British Information Service and was writing propaganda for the Allied cause, mainly for American consumption.[8] This work introduced Dahl to espionage and the activities of the Canadian spymaster William Stephenson, known by the codename "Intrepid". During the war, Dahl supplied intelligence from Washington to Stephenson and his organisation known as British Security Coordination, which was part of MI-6. He was revealed in the 1980s to have been serving to help promote Britain's interests and message in the United States and to combat the "America First" movement, working with such other well known agents as Ian Fleming and David Ogilvy.[9] Dahl was once sent back to Britain by British Embassy officials, supposedly for misconduct – "I got booted out by the big boys," he said. Stephenson promptly sent him back to Washington—with a promotion to Wing Commander.[10] Towards the end of the war, Dahl wrote some of the history of the secret organisation and he and Stephenson remained friends for decades after the war.[11]

His record of five aerial victories, qualifying him as a flying ace, has been confirmed by post-war research and cross-referenced in Axis records, although it is most likely that he scored more than that during 20 April 1941 where 22 German aircraft were downed.[12]

Postwar life

Family

Patricia Neal and Roald Dahl

Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal on 2 July 1953 at Trinity Church in New York City. Their marriage lasted for 30 years and they had five children: Olivia (who died of measles encephalitis in 1962, aged seven), Tessa, Theo, Ophelia, and Lucy. He dedicated The BFG to Olivia after her death, and subsequently became a proponent of immunisation.[13]

When he was four months old, Theo Dahl was severely injured when his baby carriage was hit by a taxi in New York City. For a time, he suffered from hydrocephalus, and as a result, his father became involved in the development of what became known as the "Wade-Dahl-Till" (or WDT) valve, a device to alleviate the condition.[14][15]

In 1965, Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms while pregnant with their fifth child, Lucy; Dahl took control of her rehabilitation and she eventually relearned to talk and walk.[16] They were divorced in 1983 following Dahl's affair with Neal's friend, Felicity ("Liccy") d'Abreu Crosland, 22 years his junior (born 12 December 1938), whom he subsequently married. Ophelia Dahl is director and co-founder (with doctor Paul Farmer) of Partners in Health, a non-profit organisation. Lucy Dahl is a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Tessa's daughter Sophie Dahl (who was the inspiration for Sophie, the main character in her grandfather's book The BFG) is a model and author who remembers Roald Dahl as "a very difficult man – very strong, very dominant ... not unlike the father of the Mitford sisters sort of roaring round the house with these very loud opinions, banning certain types – foppish boys, you know – from coming round."[citation needed]

Death and legacy

Dahl's Gravestone

Roald Dahl died in November 1990 at the age of 74 of a rare blood disease, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, or "pre-leukemia"), in Oxford,[17] and was buried in the cemetery at the parish church of Saint Peter and Paul in Great Missenden. According to his granddaughter, the family gave him a "sort of Viking funeral". He was buried with his snooker cues, some very good burgundy, chocolates, HB pencils and a power saw. In his honour, the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery was opened at Buckinghamshire County Museum in nearby Aylesbury.

In 2002, one of Cardiff Bay's modern landmarks, the historic Oval Basin plaza, was re-christened "Roald Dahl Plass". "Plass" means "place" or "square" in Norwegian, referring to the acclaimed late writer's Norwegian roots. There have also been calls from the public for a permanent statue of him to be erected in the city[18]

Dahl's charitable commitments in the fields of neurology, haematology and literacy have been continued by his widow since his death, through the Roald Dahl Foundation.[19] In June 2005, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened in Great Missenden to celebrate the work of Roald Dahl and advance his work in literacy.

In 2008, the UK charity Booktrust and Children's Laureate Michael Rosen inaugurated The Roald Dahl Funny Prize, an annual award to authors of humorous children's fiction.[20] In 2008, The Times ranked Roald Dahl sixteenth on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[21]

On 14 September 2009 (the day after what would have been Dahl's 93rd birthday) the first blue plaque in his honour was unveiled in Llandaff, Cardiff. Rather than commemorating his place of birth, however, the plaque was erected on the wall of the former sweet shop (and site of "The Great Mouse Plot of 1924") that features in the first part of his autobiography Boy. It was unveiled by his widow Felicity and son Theo.[22]

Roald Dahl Day

The anniversary of Dahl's birthday on 13 September is celebrated as "Roald Dahl Day" in Africa and Latin America [23][24]

Writing

Roald Dahl's story "The Devious Bachelor" was illustrated by Frederick Siebel when it was published in Collier's (September 1953).

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was "Shot Down Over Libya." Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime adventures, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post for $900, and propelled him into a career as a writer.[citation needed] Its title was inspired by a highly inaccurate and sensationalised article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot down instead of simply having to land due to low fuel.

His first children's book was The Gremlins, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. The book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children's stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and George's Marvellous Medicine.

He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. Many were originally written for American magazines such as Collier's, Ladies Home Journal, Harper's, Playboy and The New Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining worldwide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form after his death (See List of Roald Dahl short stories). His stories also brought him three Edgar Awards: in 1954, for the collection Someone Like You; in 1959, for the story "The Landlady"; and in 1980, for the episode of Tales of the Unexpected based on "Skin".

One of his more famous adult stories, "The Smoker" (also known as "Man From the South"), was filmed twice as both 1960 and 1985 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and also adapted into Quentin Tarantino's segment of the 1995 film Four Rooms. This bizarre, oft-anthologised suspense classic concerns a man residing in Jamaica who wagers with visitors in an attempt to claim the fingers from their hands; the 1960 Hitchcock version stars Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre.

His short story collection Tales of the Unexpected was adapted to a successful TV series of the same name, beginning with "Man From the South". When the stock of Dahl's own original stories was exhausted, the series continued by adapting stories by authors that were written in Dahl's style, including the writers John Collier and Stanley Ellin.

He acquired a traditional Romanichal Gypsy wagon in the 1960s and the family used it as a playhouse for his children. He later used the vardo as a writing room, where he wrote the book Danny, the Champion of the World.[25]

A number of his short stories are supposed to be extracts from the diary of his (fictional) Uncle Oswald, a rich gentleman whose sexual exploits form the subject of these stories. In his novel "My Uncle Oswald" the uncle engages a temptress to seduce 20th Century geniuses and royalty with a love potion secretly added to chocolate truffles made by Dahl's favourite chocolate shop, Prestat of Piccadilly.

Memories with Food at Gipsy House, written with his wife Felicity and published posthumously in 1991, was a mixture of recipes, family reminiscences and Dahl's musings on favourite subjects such as chocolate, onions, and claret.

Dahl ranks amongst the world's bestselling fiction authors, with sales estimated at 100 million.[26][27]

Children's fiction

Dahl's children's works are usually told from the point of view of a child. They typically involve adult villains or villainesses who hate and mistreat children, and feature at least one "good" adult to counteract the villain(s). These stock characters are possibly a reference to the abuse that Dahl stated that he experienced in the boarding schools he attended. They usually contain a lot of black humour and grotesque scenarios, including gruesome violence. The Witches, George's Marvellous Medicine and Matilda are examples of this formula. The BFG follows it in a more analogous way with the good giant (the BFG or "Big Friendly Giant") representing the "good adult" archetype and the other giants being the "bad adults". This formula is also somewhat evident in Dahl's film script for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Class-conscious themes – ranging from the thinly veiled to the blatant – also surface in works such as Fantastic Mr Fox and Danny, the Champion of the World.

Dahl also features in his books characters that are very fat, usually children. Augustus Gloop, Bruce Bogtrotter, and Bruno Jenkins are a few of these characters, although an enormous woman named Aunt Sponge is featured in James and The Giant Peach and the nasty farmer Boggis in Fantastic Mr Fox features as an enormously fat character. All of these characters (with the possible exception of Bruce Bogtrotter) are either villains or simply unpleasant gluttons. They are usually punished for this: Augustus Gloop drinks from Willy Wonka's chocolate river, disregarding the adults who tell him not to, and falls in, getting sucked up a pipe and nearly being turned into fudge. Bruce Bogtrotter steals cake from the evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and is forced to eat a gigantic chocolate cake in front of the school. Bruno Jenkins is turned into a mouse by witches who lure him to their convention with the promise of chocolate and, it is speculated, possibly disowned or even killed by his parents because of this. Aunt Sponge is flattened by a giant peach.

Dahl's mother used to tell him and his sisters tales about trolls and other mythical Norwegian creatures and some of his children's books contain references or elements inspired by these stories, such as the giants in The BFG, the fox family in Fantastic Mr Fox and the trolls in The Minpins.

Screenplays

For a brief period in the 1960s, Dahl wrote screenplays. Two – the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – were adaptations of novels by Ian Fleming, though both were rewritten and completed by other writers. Dahl also began adapting his own novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was completed and rewritten by David Seltzer after Dahl failed to meet deadlines, and produced as the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). Dahl later disowned the film, saying he was "disappointed" because "he thought it placed too much emphasis on Willy Wonka and not enough on Charlie"[28]. He was also "infuriated" by the deviations in the plot devised by David Seltzer in his draft of the screenplay. This resulted in his refusal for any more versions of the book to be made in his lifetime.[29]

Influences

Not surprisingly, a major part of Dahl's literary influences stemmed from his childhood. In his younger days, he was an avid reader, especially awed by fantastic tales of heroism and triumph. Amongst his favourite authors were Rudyard Kipling, William Thackeray, Frederick Marryat and Charles Dickens and their works went on to make a lasting mark on his life and writing. Dahl was also a huge fan of ghost stories and claimed that Trolls by Jonas Lie was one of the finest ghost stories ever written. While he was still a youngster, his mother, Sofie Dahl, would relate traditional Norwegian myths and legends from her native homeland to Dahl and his sisters. Dahl always maintained that his mother and her stories had a strong influence on his writing. In one interview he mentioned, "She was a great teller of tales. Her memory was prodigious and nothing that ever happened to her in her life was forgotten." When Dahl started writing and publishing his famous books for children, he created a grandmother character in The Witches and later admitted that she was based directly on his own mother as a tribute.[1][30]

Television

Way Out

In 1961, Dahl hosted and wrote for a science fiction and horror television anthology series called Way Out, which preceded the similar but less dark and edgy Twilight Zone series on the CBS network Saturday nights for 14 episodes[31] from March to July. Dahl's comedic monologues bookended the episodes, frequently explaining exactly how to murder one's spouse without getting caught. One of the last dramatic network shows done in New York City, the entire series is available for viewing at The Paley Center for Media in New York and Los Angeles.

Tales of the Unexpected

Tales of the Unexpected is a British television series that originally aired between 1979 and 1988, made by Anglia Television for ITV.

The series was an anthology of different tales, initially based on short stories, at one time compiled in a book of the same title, by the author Roald Dahl. The stories were sometimes sinister, sometimes wryly comedic, and usually had a twist ending. Dahl introduced on camera all the episodes of the first two series, which bore the full title Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected. Dahl also chose the stories not written by him to be adapted for the second series, and a small number of additional Dahl stories were adapted for the third series onwards following his departure.

List of works

Children's stories

  1. The Gremlins (1943)
  2. James and the Giant Peach (1961) — Film: James and the Giant Peach (live-action/animated) (1996)
  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) — Films: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
  4. The Magic Finger (1 June 1966)
  5. Fantastic Mr Fox (9 December 1970) — Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox (animated) (2009)
  6. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (9 January 1972) A sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  7. Danny, the Champion of the World (30 October 1975) — Film: Danny the Champion of the World (TV movie) (1989)
  8. The Enormous Crocodile (24 August 1978)
  9. The Twits (9 October 1980)
  10. George's Marvellous Medicine (21 May 1981)
  11. The BFG (14 October 1982) — Film: The BFG (animated) (1989)
  12. The Witches (27 October 1983) — Film: The Witches (1990)
  13. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (26 September 1985)
  14. Matilda (21 April 1988) — Film: Matilda (1996)
  15. Esio Trot (19 April 1990)
  16. The Vicar of Nibbleswicke (9 May 1990)
  17. The Minpins (8 August 1990)
Children's poetry
  1. Revolting Rhymes (10 June 1982)
  2. Dirty Beasts (25 October 1984)
  3. Rhyme Stew (21 September 1989)

Adult fiction

Novels
  1. Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen (1948)
  2. My Uncle Oswald (1979)
Short story collections
  1. Over To You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying (1946)
  2. Someone Like You (1953)
  3. Lamb to the Slaughter (1953)
  4. Kiss Kiss (1960)
  5. Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl (1969)
  6. Switch Bitch (1974)
  7. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (1977)
  8. The Best of Roald Dahl (1978)
  9. Tales of the Unexpected (1979)
  10. More Tales of the Unexpected (1980)
  11. Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories (1983). Edited with an introduction by Dahl.
  12. The Roald Dahl Omnibus (Dorset Press, 1986)
  13. Two Fables (1986). "Princess and the Poacher" and "Princess Mammalia".
  14. Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl (1989)
  15. The Collected Short Stories of Dahl (1991)
  16. The Roald Dahl Treasury (1997)
  17. The Great Automatic Grammatizator (1997). (Known in the USA as The Umbrella Man and Other Stories).
  18. Skin And Other Stories (2000)
  19. Roald Dahl: Collected Stories (2006)

See the alphabetical List of Roald Dahl short stories. See also Roald Dahl: Collected Stories for a complete, chronological listing.

Non-fiction

  1. The Mildenhall Treasure (1946, 1977, 1999)
  2. Boy – Tales of Childhood (1984) Recollections up to the age of 20, looking particularly at schooling in Britain in the early part of the 20th century.
  3. Going Solo (1986) Continuation of his autobiography, in which he goes to work for Shell and spends some time working in Tanzania before joining the war effort and becoming one of the last Allied pilots to withdraw from Greece during the German invasion.
  4. Measles, a Dangerous Illness (1986)[32]
  5. Memories with Food at Gipsy House (1991)
  6. Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety (1991)
  7. My Year (1993)
  8. Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes by Felicity Dahl, et al. (1994), a collection of recipes based on and inspired by food in Dahl's books, created by Roald & Felicity Dahl, and Josie Fison
  9. Roald Dahl's Even More Revolting Recipes by Felicity Dahl, et al. (2001)

Plays

  1. The Honeys (1955) Produced at the Longacre Theater on Broadway.

Film scripts

  1. The Gremlins (1943)
  2. 36 Hours (1965)
  3. You Only Live Twice (1967)
  4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
  5. The Night Digger (1971)
  6. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Television

  1. Way Out (1961) Horror series hosted by Roald Dahl and produced by David Susskind
  2. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Lamb to the Slaughter" (1958)
  3. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Dip in the Pool" (1958)
  4. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Poison" (1958)
  5. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Man from the South" (1960) with Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre
  6. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" (1960)
  7. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "The Landlady" (1961)
  8. Tales of the Unexpected (1979-88), episodes written and introduced by Roald Dahl.

Controversies

In 1983 Dahl reviewed Tony Clifton's God Cried, a picture book about the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon depicting Israelis killing thousands of Beirut inhabitants by bombing civilian targets. Dahl's review stated that this invasion was when "we all started hating Israel", and that the book would make readers "violently anti-Israeli", writing, "I am not anti-Semitic. I am anti-Israel."[33] Dahl told a reporter in 1983, "There’s a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity ... I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason."[33] Dahl maintained friendships with a number of Jews, including philosopher Isaiah Berlin, who said, "I thought he might say anything. Could have been pro-Arab or pro-Jew. There was no consistent line. He was a man who followed whims, which meant he would blow up in one direction, so to speak."[33] In later years, Dahl included a sympathetic episode about German-Jewish refugees in his book Going Solo, and professed to be opposed to injustice, not Jews.[33]

References

Specific references:

  1. ^ a b Roald Dahl Literary Influences - http://www.infloox.com/person?id=6a5f6877
  2. ^ inogolo - Pronunciation of Roald Dahl : How to pronounce Roald Dahl
  3. ^ ODNB
  4. ^ Jeremy Treglown, Roald Dahl: A Biography (1994) , Faber and Faber, page 21. Treglown's source note is as follows: "Several people who were at the top of Priory House at the time have discussed it with me, particularly B.L.L. Reuss and John Bradburn."
  5. ^ a b Dahl, Roald (1984). Boy: Tales of Childhood. Jonathan Cape. 
  6. ^ http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/rdahl.htm
  7. ^ a b Dahl, Roald (1986). Going Solo. Jonathan Cape. 
  8. ^ Cambridge Guide to Literature (Cambridge University Press, 1989) ISBN 0-521-26751-X.
  9. ^ The book "The Irregulars" (by Jennet Conant, Simon and Schuster 2008) describes this era of Dahl's life and those with whom he worked.
  10. ^ Bill Macdonald - The True Intrepid p249 (Raincoast 2001)ISBN 1-55192-418-8 Dahl also speaks about his espionage work in the documentary The True Intrepid
  11. ^ Macdonald - The True Intrepid p243 ISBN 1-55192-418-8.
  12. ^ Christopher Shores and Clive Williams – Aces High: A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the British and Commonwealth Air Forces in WWII (Grub Street Publishing, 1994) ISBN 1-898697-00-0.
  13. ^ childalert - first for child safety and wellbeing
  14. ^ "Water on the Brain". MedGadget: Internet Journal of Emerging Medical Technologies. 15 July 2005. http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2005/07/water_on_the_br.html. Retrieved 11 May 2006. 
  15. ^ Dr Andrew Larner. "Tales of the Unexpected: Roald Dahl’s Neurological Contributions". Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation. http://www.acnr.co.uk/mar_apr_2008/ACNRMA08_nerolit.pdf. 
  16. ^ Barry Farrell (1969). Pat and Roald. Kingsport Press. 
  17. ^ Deaths England and Wales 1984-2006
  18. ^ WalesOnline - News - Wales News - Roald Dahl and the Chinese chip shop
  19. ^ Roald Dahl Foundation
  20. ^ The Roald Dahl Funny Prize
  21. ^ (5 January 2008). The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. The Times. Retrieved on 1 February 2010.
  22. ^ "Blue plaque marks Dahl sweet shop" from BBC News
  23. ^ Roald Dahl Day celebrations, Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre (accessed 20 Sept 2007)
  24. ^ Roald Dahl's 90th Birthday!, Random House UK (accessed 20 Sept 2007)
  25. ^ English Gypsy caravan, Gypsy Wagon, Gypsy Waggon and Vardo: Photograph Gallery 1
  26. ^ The International Herald Tribune on Roald Dahl: "Dahl's books, many of them darkly comic and featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters, have sold over 100 million copies." (13 September 2006)
  27. ^ BBC on Roald Dahl: "Exhibitions and children's reading campaigns are being held to commemorate the life of Dahl, who died in 1990 and has sold more than 100 million books." (13 September 2006)
  28. ^ Liz Buckingham, trustee for the Roald Dahl Museum, quoted in Tom Bishop: "Willy Wonka's Everlasting Film Plot", BBC News, July 2005 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4660873.stm
  29. ^ Tom Bishop: "Willy Wonka's Everlasting Film Plot", BBC News July 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4660873.stm
  30. ^ Influence of Sofie Dahl on Roald Dahl - http://www.infloox.com/influence?id=e00077f
  31. ^ IMDB
  32. ^ Source: written for a leaflet published in 1986 by Sandwell Health Authority (now Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust). Reproduced at http://www.blacktriangle.org/blog/?p=715.
  33. ^ a b c d Roald Dahl: A biography, Jeremy Treglown (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994), pp. 255-256.

General references:

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
Grown-ups are quirky creatures, full of quirks and secrets.

Roald Dahl (13 September 191623 November 1990) was a British novelist and short story author of Norwegian descent, famous as a writer for both children and adults.

Contents

Sourced

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972)

  • "It is very difficult to phone people in China, Mr. President," said the Postmaster General, "The country is so full of Wings and Wongs, every time you wing you get the wong number."
    • Ch. 4, "The President" (p. 34 in the 1984 Bantam edition)

Danny, the Champion of the World (1975)

  • Grown-ups are quirky creatures, full of quirks and secrets.
  • A Message to Children Who Have Read This Book - When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: a stodgy parent is no fun at all. What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is SPARKY.

The BFG (1982)

  • "The matter with human beans," the BFG went on, "is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles."
  • "Dreams is very mystical things," the BFG said. "Human beans is not understanding them at all. Not even their brainiest prossefors is understanding them."
    • "Dreams"

The Witches (1983)

  • It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.
    • "The Heart of a Mouse"

The Minpins (1991)

  • And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

Misattributed

  • My candle burns at both ends;
    It will not last the night;
    But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends —
    It gives a lovely light.
    • Edna St. Vincent Millay, in "First Fig" from A Few Figs from Thistles (1920); said to be a motto Roald Dahl lived by.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

File:Roald
Roald Dahl was a famous writer.

Roald Dahl (born 13 September 1916 – died 23 November 1990) was a British writer.[1] He was wrote many famous children's stories and adult horror stories.[1] Many of his books and stories have been made into films and TV shows all over the world.

Among his most popular books are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, The BFG, and Kiss Kiss. Many of his children's books have pictures drawn by Quentin Blake.

There is a Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden which shows the work of Roald Dahl.

References








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