Roald Dahl

by Jane Henderson

Roald Dahl's Early Life

Roald Dahl was born on September 13th, 1916 in Wales to Norwegian parents. He spent most of his young years in Llandaff, although he did move around a little. After his father and sister died in 1920, he began his schooling in Wales. His first jobs were working for Shell Oil in 1934 and joining the Royal Air Force. He joined the RAF after World War 2 in 1939, and although his journey with the air force led him into plane crash in Libya in 1940, he still rejoined it after his recovery in 1941. Dahl remained in the RAF until his first short story was published and he moved back to the United Kingdom in 1946. He married Patricia Neal, an American actress, in New York in 1953 at age 34.


Dahl had a lot of struggles in his life which acted as inspiration for his stories. His father and older sister passed away and he was abused in school when he was a child, he was in a plane wreck, his eldest daughter died, and his wife had a series of serious strokes (but did not die). These tragic experiences of this man's challenging made his stories as they are today.

Roald Daul's Later Life

Roald Dahl published his first short story, The Gremlins, in 1943, and soon after that many stories came from his creative mind throughout his lifetime. Some of those stories and the dates they were published in are Over to You 1946, The Honeys 1955, James and the Giant Peach 1961, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1964, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1968, George's Marvelous Medicine 1981, The Witches 1983, Matilda 1988, and many many more. Towards the last couple decades of Dahl's life, he published many very well known stories, and especially children's books. His writings became more and more well known and a lot of them were turned into films in the 1970s. Although Dahl died at age 74 on November 23rd in 1990, his works only started to branch out into the world in the 2000s. In the 2010s, some of them even got to become movies and musicals. His writings lived on and are still read for the first time by children and adults alike modern day.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches, published in 1983, is an excellent book written by Roald Dahl. In my personal opinion, it is one of his best works and is my favorite book by him, which says a lot because I love his stories. In this book, which was made into a movie in 1990, witches exist and they hate children more than anything. They detest them so much that they aim to kill them. For being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the main character, Bruno, is turned into a mouse by a potion. The witches plan on turning all of the children in England into mice using this potion, and Bruno is just the beginning. Although this seems like a horrific plot, this story is actually aims of the ages of kids in elementary school. I read this book in fourth grade and it was one of the best books I read at that age. I highly recommend reading this book because I enjoyed it immensely and it will take you for a little adventure.

Roald Dahl: From Books To Film