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Roald Dahl Biography

November 18, 2015

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"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men." - Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) is one of the most beloved children's authors of all time; he is well known for writing such works as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, both of which were subsequently turned into successful films. Dahl's fantastical and surreal writing style has made him a legend, whose books will surely be read for decades to come! 

James and the Giant Peach is an epic tale!James and the Giant Peach is an epic tale!Courtesy of Quentin Blake

History

  • Roald Dahl was born in South Wales in September 1916. His parents were Norwegian and he spent most of his summers in Norway. 
  • Dahl was a mischievous boy. He was often in trouble, and when he was eight years old even put a dead mouse into a jar of gobstoppers at his local candy shop! 
  • Dahl's adventurous spirit led him to join the Royal Air Force in 1939. He became a fighter pilot in World War II, serving in the Mediterranean. 
  • After a bad plane accident, Dahl was transferred to work at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, where he worked with the British Information Service and supplied information to MI6, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service!

Roald Dahl was a pilot during World War II. Roald Dahl was a pilot during World War II. Courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Writing

  • Dahl married his first wife in 1953. They were married for 30 years and had 5 children together. Dahl told his children bedtime stories every night, and some of these ended up being the basis for his future writing. 
  • Roald Dahl published his first really popular children's book, James and the Giant Peach, in 1961, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory three years later. 
  • Over the course of his life, Dahl published 17 children's stories, along with many other pieces of poetry and fiction for adults. A few more of his most famous children's works include Matilda, BFG, and The Witches (my personal favorite). 
  • Much of Dahl's work was illustrated by artist Quentin Blake. 
  • Roald Dahl came under some criticism during his career, in particular because his stories often involve children wreaking vengeance on evil adults, but this hasn't stopped the ongoing popularity of his books. 

Roald Dahl is so famous that pictures from his books were made into stamps!Roald Dahl is so famous that pictures from his books were made into stamps!Courtesy of The Guardian

If you haven't read a Roald Dahl book yet, I highly recommend that you do. The stories are whimsical, magical, and have just the right amount of dark side. Dahl's work will make you laugh, think, and spark your imagination. Enjoy one of his amazing stories today!

Have Your Say!

What's your favorite Roald Dahl book? Start a conversation in our comments section!