Roald Dahl
British novelist, short story writer
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter. Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the British Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of Wing Commander. Dahl rose to prominence in the 1940s, with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's best-selling authors.
Biography
Roald Dahl's personal information overview.
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News
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Children's notebook: Girls' wardrobe staples - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
New label for children that encapsulates plain styling without the designer pricetags plus how to celebrate Roald Dahl day on September 13. Alison Spence's label Original Sister, whose stock in trade is classic, pared-down girls' wardrobe staples
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Big is beautiful for Sophie Dahl - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Sophie Dahl is the granddaughter of Roald Dahl, the children's author. Photo: PA By Tim Walker Sophie Dahl may no longer be quite as voluptuous as she once was, but the author and former model would still appear to hanker after a fuller figure
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Kids and family events in Dallas-Fort Worth, September 1-7 - Pegasus News
Google News - over 5 years
If you were disappointed with Tim Burton's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you can get the bad taste out of your mouth with Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka Junior, starting Thursday at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst and playing through
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Penguin reissues Dahl's grown-up stories - The Bookseller
Google News - over 5 years
Penguin is reissuing its collections of short stories for adults by renowned children's author Roald Dahl. The rejacketed paperback versions, priced £8.99, will be reissued in four batches, beginning with Someone Like You; Kiss Kiss; Over To You;
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Horrible pair deserve raucous reception - Nelson Mail
Google News - over 5 years
DIRTY TRICKS: Mr and Mrs Twit (Daniel Allen and Hazel Twissell) at the Theatre Royal ahead of their appearance in Roald Dahl classic The Twits. There can't be many pieces of theatre where the audience is encouraged to boo, hiss and throw things at the
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NEWS ANALYSIS; Fairies, Witches and Supply and Demand
NYTimes - over 5 years
Motoko Rich is an economics reporter for The New York Times. As any parent devoted to bedtime reading knows, the best children’s books never resort to icky “teachable moments.” Understated messages about loyalty, friendship and bravery thrum like bass lines beneath the melody of character and narrative. These days, perhaps because
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Gray 318 creates new jacket designs for Roald Dahl books - Design Week
Google News - over 5 years
Gray 318 has designed a new set of jackets for Roald Dahl's stories for adults, which will be released by publisher Penguin in three stages. Jon Gray, who works under the name Gray 318, was commissioned in June by Penguin's general art director John
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Horrid Henry: The Movie 3D - expressandstar.com
Google News - over 5 years
Danny DeVito's magnificent rendering of Roald Dahl's Matilda seems to be an inspiration but neither Lucinda Whiteley's script nor Moore's direction are sufficiently elegant to chart the same ebbs and flows between uproarious and dark comedy
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Wallace on Roald Dahl judging panel - The Bookseller
Google News - over 5 years
Presenter, author and journalist Danny Wallace is to be one of the judges for this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011. Wallace will be joined by the author and illustrator team behind Horrid Henry, Francesca Simon and Tony Ross, plus journalist and
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Read a Peach - Memphis Flyer
Google News - over 5 years
After his parents die in a horrible accident, poor James Trotter, the titular character of Roald Dahl's controversial classic James and the Giant Peach, is sent — as such orphans almost always are — to live with the most unrelentingly evil members of
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Making a Deal with the Devil -- The Patricia Neal Story - Reuters
Google News - over 5 years
"Pat and Roald" was the story of Oscar winning Patricia Neal, one of my favorite actresses from "Hud," "Face in a Crowd," "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and, her husband, Roald Dahl, a legendary British children's writer I also liked
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From Roald Dahl to Ezer Weizman / Historic air force building atRamat David to ... - Ha'aretz
Google News - over 5 years
About 70 years ago the British air base was established at Ramat David, the first pilot who landed there was Roald Dahl, who became a famous author. By Eli Ashkenazi The small brick building in the middle of the air force base at Ramat David is not
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Roald Dahl's life celebrated in new book - Times LIVE
Google News - over 5 years
It's been suggested that Donald Sturrock's judgments on Roald Dahl in his biography of the celebrated children's book writer, Storyteller, The Life of Roald Dahl, are coloured by the influence of Dahl's surviving family and his ambitions to be the
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Roald Dahl
    TWENTIES
  • 1990
    Roald Dahl died on 23 November 1990, at the age of 74 of a blood disease, myelodysplastic syndrome, in Oxford, and was buried in the cemetery at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Today, children continue to leave toys and flowers by his grave. In November 1996, the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery was opened at the Buckinghamshire County Museum in nearby Aylesbury. The main-belt asteroid 6223 Dahl, discovered by Czech astronomer Antonín Mrkos, was named in his memory in 1996. In 2002, one of Cardiff Bay's modern landmarks, the Oval Basin plaza, was renamed "Roald Dahl Plass". "Plass" is Norwegian for "place" or "square", alluding to the writer's Norwegian roots. There have also been calls from the public for a permanent statue of him to be erected in Cardiff. In 2016, the city is to celebrate the centenary of Dahl's birth in Llandaff. Welsh Arts organisations, including National Theatre Wales, Wales Millennium Centre and Literature Wales, have come together for a series of events, titled Roald Dahl 100, including a Cardiff-wide City of the Unexpected, which will mark his legacy.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1986
    In the 1986 New Years Honours List, Dahl was offered an appointment to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), but turned it down, purportedly because he wanted a knighthood so that his wife would be Lady Dahl.
    More Details Hide Details In 2012, Dahl featured in the list of The New Elizabethans to mark the diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. A panel of seven academics, journalists and historians named Dahl among the group of people in the UK "whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and given the age its character". Dahl is the father of author Tessa Dahl and grandfather of author, cookbook writer and former model Sophie Dahl (after whom Sophie in The BFG is named).
  • 1983
    Dahl told a reporter in 1983, "There's a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity...
    More Details Hide Details 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." Dahl maintained friendships with a number of Jews, including philosopher Sir 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." Amelia Foster, director of the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, states, "This is again an example of how Dahl refused to take anything seriously, even himself. He was very angry at the Israelis. He had a childish reaction to what was going on in Israel. Dahl wanted to provoke, as he always provoked at dinner. His publisher was a Jew, his agent was a Jew, and thought nothing but good things from them. He asked me to be its managing director, and I'm Jewish."
    In 1983 Dahl reviewed Tony Clifton's God Cried, a picture book about the siege of West Beirut by the Israeli army during the 1982 Lebanon War.
    More Details Hide Details Dahl's review stated that the book would make readers "violently anti-Israeli", writing, "I am not anti-Semitic. I am anti-Israel."
    Following a divorce from Neal in 1983, Dahl married Felicity "Liccy" Crosland at Brixton Town Hall, South London.
    More Details Hide Details Dahl and Crosland had previously been in a relationship. Liccy gave up her job and moved into "Gipsy House", Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, which had been Dahl's home since 1954.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1975
    He later used the vardo as a writing room, where he wrote Danny, the Champion of the World in 1975.
    More Details Hide Details Dahl incorporated a Gypsy wagon into the main plot of the book, where the young English boy, Danny, and his father, William (played by Jeremy Irons in the film adaptation) live in a Gypsy caravan. Many local scenes and characters in Great Missenden inspired Dahl's stories. 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. Some 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, London. 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.
  • OTHER
  • 1965
    In 1965, Patricia Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms while pregnant with their fifth child, Lucy; Dahl took control of her rehabilitation and she re-learned to talk and walk, and even returned to her acting career, an episode in their lives which was dramatised in the film The Patricia Neal Story, in which the couple were played by Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogarde.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1960
    On 5 December 1960, four-month-old Theo Dahl was severely injured when his baby carriage was struck by a taxicab in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details 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. The valve was a collaboration between Dahl, hydraulic engineer Stanley Wade and London's Great Ormond Street Hospital neurosurgeon Kenneth Till, and was used successfully on almost 3,000 children around the world. In November 1962, Olivia died of measles encephalitis at age seven. Her death left Dahl "limp with despair", and gave him a feeling of guilt that he could not do anything for her. Dahl subsequently became a proponent of immunisation and dedicated his 1982 book The BFG to his daughter. After Olivia's death, Dahl lost faith in God and viewed religion as a sham. While mourning her loss he had sought spiritual guidance from the former Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher, but became dismayed when Fisher told him that although Olivia was in Paradise, her beloved dog Rowley would never join her there, with Dahl recalling: "I wanted to ask him how he could be so absolutely sure that other creatures did not get the same special treatment as us. I sat there wondering if this great and famous churchman really knew what he was talking about and whether he knew anything at all about God or heaven, and if he didn't, then who in the world did?"
  • 1953
    Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal on 2 July 1953 at Trinity Church in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details Their marriage lasted for 30 years and they had five children: Olivia Twenty (20 April 1955 – 17 November 1962); Chantal Sophia "Tessa" (born 1957); Theo Matthew (born 1960); Ophelia Magdalena (born 1964); and Lucy Neal (born 1965).
  • 1941
    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 when 22 German aircraft were shot down.
    More Details Hide Details
    Though at this time Dahl was only a pilot officer on probation, in September 1941 he was simultaneously confirmed as a pilot officer and promoted to war substantive flying officer.
    More Details Hide Details After being invalided home, Dahl was posted to an RAF training camp in Uxbridge while attempting to recover his health enough to become an instructor. In late March 1942, while in London, he met the Under-Secretary of State for Air, Major Harold Balfour (later Lord Balfour), at his club. Impressed by his war record and conversational abilities, Balfour appointed Dahl as assistant air attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. Initially resistant, he was finally persuaded by Balfour to accept, and took passage on the SS Batori from Glasgow a few days later. He arrived in Halifax on 14 April, after which he took a sleeper train to Montreal. Coming from war-starved Britain, Dahl was amazed by the wealth of food and amenities to be had in North America. Arriving in Washington a week later, Dahl found he liked the atmosphere of the U.S. capital, but was unimpressed by his office in the British Air Mission, attached to the embassy. Nor was he impressed by the ambassador, Lord Halifax, with whom he sometimes played tennis and whom he described as "a courtly English gentleman." As part of his duties as assistant air attaché, Dahl was to help neutralise the isolationist views many Americans still held by giving pro-British speeches and discussing his war service; the United States had only entered the war the previous December, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 which aircraft they had shot down. Dahl described it as "an endless blur of enemy fighters whizzing towards me from every side". In May, 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.
    Dahl saw his first aerial combat on 15 April 1941, while flying alone over the city of Chalcis.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    Dahl flew a replacement Hurricane across the Mediterranean Sea in April 1941, after seven hours flying Hurricanes.
    More Details Hide Details By this stage in the Greek campaign, the RAF had only 18 combat aircraft in Greece: 14 Hurricanes and four Bristol Blenheim light bombers.
    In February 1941, Dahl was discharged from hospital and passed fully fit for flying duties.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1940
    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.
    More Details Hide Details From there he would fly to 80 Squadron's forward airstrip 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. He wrote about the crash in 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. 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.
    He was commissioned pilot officer on 24 August 1940.
    More Details Hide Details Following six months' training on Hawker Harts, Dahl was made an acting 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.
  • 1939
    In November 1939, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an aircraftman with service number 774022.
    More Details Hide Details After a car journey from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi, he was accepted for flight training with 16 other men, of whom only three others survived the war. 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 to advanced flying training in Iraq, at RAF Habbaniya, west of Baghdad.
  • 1934
    In July 1934, Dahl joined the Shell Petroleum Company.
    More Details Hide Details Following two years of training in the United Kingdom, he was transferred first to Mombasa, Kenya, then 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, among other wildlife. 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 a lieutenant in the King's African Rifles, commanding a platoon of Askaris, indigenous troops serving in the colonial army.
    After finishing his schooling, in August 1934 Dahl crossed the Atlantic on the and hiked through Newfoundland with the Public Schools Exploring Society.
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  • 1929
    From 1929, he attended Repton School in Derbyshire.
    More Details Hide Details Dahl had unhappy experiences of the school, describing an environment of ritual cruelty and acting as personal servants for older boys along with terrible beatings; these violent experiences are described in Donald Sturrock's biography of Dahl. There are echoes of these darker experiences in Dahl's writings and his hatred of cruelty and corporal punishment. According to Boy: Tales of Childhood, a friend named Michael was viciously caned by headmaster Geoffrey Fisher, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury and went on to crown Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. (However, according to Dahl's biographer Jeremy Treglown, the caning took place in May 1933, a year after Fisher had left Repton and the headmaster concerned was in fact J. T. Christie, Fisher's successor.) This caused Dahl to "have doubts about religion and even about God". 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."
  • 1916
    Roald Dahl was born in 1916 at Villa Marie, Fairwater Road, in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (née Hesselberg).
    More Details Hide Details Dahl's father had emigrated to the UK from Sarpsborg in Norway, and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s. His mother came over and married his father in 1911. Dahl was named after the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen. His first language was Norwegian, which he spoke at home with his parents and his sisters Astri, Alfhild and Else. Dahl and his sisters were raised in the Lutheran faith, and were baptised at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped. Weeks later, his father died of pneumonia at the age of 57. With the option of returning to Norway to live with relatives, Dahl's mother decided to remain in Wales, because Harald had wished to have their children educated in British schools, which he considered the world's best. 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 mouse in a jar of gobstoppers at the local sweet shop, which was owned by a "mean and loathsome" old woman called Mrs Pratchett. This was known among the five boys as the "Great Mouse Plot of 1924". A favourite sweet among British schoolboys between the two World Wars, Dahl would later refer to gobstoppers in his literary creation, Everlasting Gobstopper.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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