Instead of me just reminding you that it’s Roald Dahl Day tomorrow (Saturday the 13th), or writing how I think a childhood (or adulthood) without Roald Dahl books is an emptier one, I thought I’d share some RD trivia that I sourced online.
PS: If you haven’t read Esio Triot, you *should*. It’s one of his lesser-known books, and is a brilliant story of love and perseverance.
Roald Dahl facts
- He was born on 13 September 1916, in Llandaff, Cardiff. His parents were Norwegian.
- He did not start writing for children until he had children of his own
- He wrote all of his children’s stories in a small hut at the bottom of his garden, sitting upon an old battered armchair. He balanced a specially designed writing board on his lap and wrote with an HB pencil on yellow legal pads.
- Dahl was a Hurricane fighter pilot during World War II
- He had two steel hips and six operations on his spine
- He wrote the screenplays for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Bond movie You Only Live Twice
- He originally wrote short stories for adults which were later published as Tales of the Unexpected
- He loved chocolate, but not chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream
- He wrote everyday from 10 am to 12 noon and then from 4 pm to 6pm
- Dahl’s first book for children was The Gremlins, published in 1943.
- Dahl was writing a third Charlie Bucket story, Charlie Bucket and the White House, but he died before the book could be completed
- It has been said that Roald Dahl created more than 250 new words. Many of them appear in The BFG
- He was friends with the American writer, Ernest Hemingway
- Roald Dahl wrote 17 children’s stories, and he also produced many works for adults, as well as children’s poetry and film scripts.
- He often based his characters on people he had met in real life. For example, it is said that the grandmother in The Witches is inspired by his own mother, Sofie
- Some of his favourite authors were: Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackery
- His granddaughter is Sophie Dahl, the author and former model). The Sophie character in Dahl’s The BFG is named after her
- He was about 6’6″ tall (200 cm)
- He could speak English, Norwegian and Swahili.
- He enjoyed growing orchids, collecting art, drinking wine, playing snooker and racing greyhounds.
- Dahl died on 23 November 1990 and is buried in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Great Missenden