Roald Dahl Project

Early Life of Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916, In Llandaff, South Wales. His sister Astra and his father Harold died when he was four. The death of his father left his mother taking care of six children. Two children from his father's previous marriage and four from Roald Dahl's parents. He started his education at Llandaff Cathedral School. He was only there for a short period of time because he was beaten by the principal for playing a practical joke on him. His mom moved him to St. Peters boarding school after that incident. This was also the school his dad wanted him to go to. At this school his teacher was evil and abusive to him. This is what inspired Matilda. Close to his school was a candy shop where he could test chocolate for the shop owner. This is what inspired the story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After this he attended Rempton School and graduated in 1934. His mom told him she would pay for his tuition to go to Cambridge or Oxford but he refused and said, "No thank you. I want to go straight from school to work for a company that will send me to wonderful faraway places like Africa or China."

Later Life

He did not go to college, he went to Tanzania, East Africa in 1938 to work for Shell, the oil company. He became a fighter pilot for the Royal Air force in 1939. He got into a bad plane crash in Egypt from which he suffered bad head injuries. He moved to Washington D.C., where he met his wife Patricia Neal, an american actress. They married in 1953 and had five kids, but their marriage did not last long. Roald Dahl used to make up bed time stories for his children. He said that since kids lose interest quickly, he had to make his stories tickle, and make them out of this world. This is how he started his career basically just making up little short stories. His first book was The Gremlins. He made some Adult stories in his life time like Man from the South and A Dip in the Pool. He is most known for his children's books like Matilda and The BFG. He enjoys writing fantasy and knows that kids will like the fantasy that he has created. His readers said that he treats the adults in his books very harshly. He says that the adults in his books usually get in the way of the hero or heroine. He says all beastly people have to be taught a lesson. Kids have a more vulgar sense of humor than adults, and are a bit more cruel. He usually based his children's books off of his life experiences and turns them into fantasy. He thinks of writing as a career as being absolutely free and says that you have no master except your soul. Roald Dahl died in Oxford, England, on November 23, 1990 at the age of 74.

A Roald Dahl book that I would recommend reading

I would recommend The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant), because it was my favorite book when I was nine. It is really funny and has lots of cool little illustrations. It has many weird and wacky words that Dahl made up for the book. Here are some phrases in the book that have some weird words, "Its disgusterous!", or "To me it tastes like clockcoaches and slimewanglers!"It also has an interesting plot. Its where a girl, an orphan named sophia, (named after Roald Dahl's Grandchild) comes across the BFG, when the BFG captures her in her sleep. At first she was terrified but now knows that he is just a giant trying to get along with humans and trying to be different from the rest. He stole her so he would have someone to talk to and to keep him company. He talks about his life and what he does like and what he doesn't like and it is really quite interesting. You really should read this book because it is the best Roald Dahl book ever!

Fun Facts

  • He did not write children stories until he had children of his own
  • He wrote all of his children stories in a small hut at the end of his garden
  • Roald Dahl has two steel hips and has had 6 operations on his spine
  • He loved chocolate, but not chocolate cake or icecream
  • Dahl always wrote in pencil on yellow paper
  • He has made up 250 words and many of them pop up in the BFG
  • The draft of his book The Magic Finger was called The Almost Ducks, and the draft of James and the Giant Peach was called James and the Giant Cherry
  • He is 6,6" ft tall
  • His birthday is celebrated in libraries, and schools as Roald Dahl Day
Roald Dahl