Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, Wales on the 13th September 1916. He came from a strong Norwegian heritage with both his parents being Norwegian. When he was young both his sister and his father died only weeks apart. Roald Dahl’s mother could have taken him and his two other sisters back to Norway to live with relatives, but decided to keep them in Wales. This was because his father had the belief that British schools were the best in the world.
While attending school in derbyshire, there was a Cadbury chocolate factory not far away that used to provide sweets for the children to sample. There was also another company in the area that was in direct competition with Cadbury. It seems there was some corporate espionage going on. This later on gave Roald Dahl the idea for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Roald Dahl only began writing when he met author C.S. Forrester. His first short story was published in 1942. Roald Dahl thought his career as a writer came about as a ‘fluke.’ Something that a lot of people don’t know about Roald Dahl is that he wrote macabre adult stories before he started writing children’s stories. As Roald Dahl wrote more and more stories they started to become less realistic and more fantasy.
Roald Dahl died the 23rd of November 1990 from a blood disease. He was 74 years of age. It is said that he had a sort of ‘Viking’ funeral where he was buried with some items that he cherished in life. These items were pencils, chocolates and snooker cues.
Here are some interesting facts about Roald Dahl:
Roald Dahl was named after a famous Norwegian explorer.
When Roald Dahl’s son Theo was four months old he was hit by a taxi and therefore afterwards suffered from hydrocephalus also known as ‘water on the brain.’
In 1962 his seven year old daughter Olivia died from measles. He later dedicated the ‘BFG’ to Olivia.
Roald Dahl married actor Patricia Neal in 1953. During birth of their fifth child, she suffered from cerebral aneurysms. Patricia had to re-learn how to walk and talk. Roald Dahl divorced Patricia Neal in 1983. He then became re-married to Felicity Crosland.
Roald Dahl could speak three different languages: Norwegian, English and Swahili.
Roald Dahl was an aircraftman in the Royal Air Force and was also a fighter pilot during World War II.
Roald Dahl didn’t really get into children’s books until he had his own children. In the 1960’s he got a traditional Gypsy wagon and turned it into a playhouse for his children.
He dedicated the book ‘Matilda’ to his grand-daughter Sophie Dahl.
Roald Dahl stated once that if he hadn’t become a writer he would have become a doctor.
In 1965 he was accused of plagiarism. He published a short story in Playboy called ‘The Visitor’ which was a lot like a story from writer Dod Osbourne called ‘Master of the Girl Pat.’
He loved chocolate, but not chocolate cake or chocolate ice-cream.
His favourite way of writing was with pencil on yellow paper.
He had two steel hips and six operations on his spine.
Some of his favourite authors were Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and Frederick Marryat.
Some of Roald Dahl’s stories that you should consider reading are:
The Gremlins Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Charlie and the Glass Elevator
The BFG The Witches The Twits Fantastic Mr Fox Esio Trot
The Minpins The Vicar of Nibbleswicke Danny, the Champion of the World
The Magic Finger The Enormous Crocodile George’s Marvellous Medicine
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me James and the Giant Peach Matilda
Switch Bitch Kiss Kiss Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl Two Fables
Sometime Never: A Fable for Superman Someone Like You Skin and Other Stories
My Uncle Oswald Lamb to the Slaughter The Best of Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories Tales of the Unexpected The Roald Dahl Treasury
More Tales of the Unexpected Over To You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More The Roald Dahl Omnibus
The Great Automatic Gramatizator Roald Dahl Collected Stories
Ah: Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a great author with an even greater imagination. Hopefully he has inspired you to read and write more.