Bet you didn’t know this about Roald Dahl…

September 12, 2014

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








Buckhinghamshire County Council

Primary Facts


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1 Comment

  • MeeA Parkins

    Ah, I just adore Roald Dahl and yes, I knew some of these things about him and have now learned a few more. Thanks for that! What a cool post!

    September 22, 2014 at 11:23 am Reply
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