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Please forward this error screen to 46. Sign up for our Today In Entertainment Newsletter. British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Born in Wales to Norwegian immigrant parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Dahl’s short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children’s books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kindhearted, and feature an underlying warm sentiment.
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Dahl’s father had emigrated to the UK from Sarpsborg in Norway, and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s. Mrs Pratchett’s former sweet shop in Llandaff, Cardiff, has a blue plaque commemorating the mischief played by young Roald Dahl and his friends, who were regular customers. In 1920, when Dahl was three years old, his seven-year-old sister, Astri, died from appendicitis. 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. Dahl first attended the Cathedral School, Llandaff. Dahl transferred to a boarding school in England: St Peter’s in Weston-super-Mare. From 1929, when he was 13, Dahl attended Repton School in Derbyshire. Dahl disliked the hazing and described an environment of ritual cruelty and status domination, with younger boys having to act as personal servants for older boys, frequently subject to terrible beatings. His biographer Donald Sturrock described these violent experiences in Dahl’s early life. He played a number of sports including cricket, football and golf, and was made captain of the squash team.
During his years at Repton, the Cadbury chocolate company would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by the pupils. Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Dahl spent the majority of his summer holidays with his mother’s family in Norway. After finishing his schooling, in August 1934 Dahl crossed the Atlantic on the RMS Nova Scotia and hiked through Newfoundland with the Public Schools Exploring Society. In July 1934, Dahl joined the Shell Petroleum Company. In August 1939, as the Second World War loomed, the British made plans to round up the hundreds of Germans living in Dar-es-Salaam. In November 1939, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman with service number 774022. 80 Squadron RAF, flying obsolete Gloster Gladiators, the last biplane fighter aircraft used by the RAF.
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Dahl was rescued and taken to a first-aid post in Mersa Matruh, where he regained consciousness, but not his sight. He was transported by train to the Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. There he fell in and out of love with a nurse, Mary Welland. A Hawker Hurricane Mk 1, the aircraft type in which Dahl engaged in aerial combat over Greece. In February 1941, Dahl was discharged from hospital and passed fully fit for flying duties. 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.
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. Of 12 Hurricanes involved, five were shot down and four of their pilots killed, including Pattle. In May, as the Germans were pressing on Athens, Dahl was evacuated to Egypt. His squadron was reassembled in Haifa.
After being invalided home, Dahl was posted to an RAF training camp in Uxbridge. He attempted to recover his health enough to become an instructor. 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. He shared a house with another attaché at 1610 34th Street, NW, in Georgetown. Dahl was unimpressed by his office in the British Air Mission, attached to the embassy. He was also unimpressed by the ambassador, Lord Halifax, with whom he sometimes played tennis and whom he described as “a courtly English gentleman.
Marsh, a Texas publisher and oilman, at his house at 2136 R Street, NW, and the Marsh country estate in Virginia. At this time Dahl met the noted British novelist C. Forester, who was also working to aid the British war effort. Forester worked for the British Ministry of Information and was writing propaganda for the Allied cause, mainly for American consumption. This work introduced Dahl to espionage and the activities of the Canadian spymaster William Stephenson, known by the codename “Intrepid”.
During the war, Dahl supplied intelligence from Washington to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Owing to the severity of his injuries from the 1940 accident, he was pronounced unfit for further service and was invalided out of the RAF in August 1946. He left the service with the substantive rank of squadron leader. Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal on 2 July 1953 at Trinity Church in New York City. 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. For a time, he suffered from hydrocephalus. In November 1962, daughter Olivia died of measles encephalitis at age seven.
Her death left Dahl “limp with despair”, and feeling guilty about not having been able to do anything for her. In 1965, his wife Patricia Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms while pregnant with their fifth child, Lucy. Neal had to re-learn to talk and walk, but she managed to return to her acting career. Neal and Dahl divorced in 1983. He married Felicity “Liccy” Crosland at Brixton Town Hall, South London. Dahl and Crosland had previously been in a relationship.
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. He wrote that the book would make readers “violently anti-Israeli”, saying, “I am not anti-Semitic. Dahl’s first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. Forester, was “A Piece of Cake”, on 1 August 1942. His first children’s book was The Gremlins, published in 1943, about mischievous little creatures that were part of Royal Air Force folklore. The RAF pilots blamed the gremlins for all the problems with the aircraft. Dahl also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending.
Roald Dahl’s gypsy wagon in the garden of his house, Gipsy Cottage, in Great Missenden, where he wrote the book Danny, the Champion of the World in 1975. Dahl acquired a traditional Romanichal gypsy wagon in the 1960s, and the family used it as a playhouse for his children at home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. 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. Uncle Oswald, a rich gentleman whose sexual exploits form the subject of these stories.
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He addresses you, a child, as somebody who knows about the world. That must have something to do with it. Illustrator Quentin Blake on the lasting appeal of Dahl’s children’s books. Dahl’s children’s works are usually told from the point of view of a child. Dahl also features in his books characters who are very fat, usually children. Augustus Gloop, Bruce Bogtrotter and Bruno Jenkins are a few of these characters, although an enormous woman named Aunt Sponge is featured in James and the Giant Peach and the nasty farmer Boggis in Fantastic Mr Fox is an enormously fat character.
Receiving the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, Dahl encouraged his children and his readers to let their imagination run free. His daughter Lucy stated “his spirit was so large and so big he taught us to believe in magic. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. Dahl was also famous for his inventive, playful use of language, which was a key element to his writing. He would invent new words by scribbling down his words before swapping letters around and adopting spoonerisms and malapropisms.
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He didn’t always explain what his words meant, but children can work them out because they often sound like a word they know, and he loved using onomatopoeia. For example, you know that something lickswishy and delumptious is good to eat, whereas something uckyslush or rotsome is not definitely not! In 2016, marking the centenary of Dahl’s birth, Rennie compiled The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary which includes many of his invented words and their meaning. Rennie commented that some of Dahl’s words have already escaped his world, for example, Scrumdiddlyumptious: “Food that is utterly delicious”. For a brief period in the 1960s, Dahl wrote screenplays. Two, the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, were adaptations of novels by Ian Fleming. Interior of Dylan Thomas’s writing shed.
A major part of Dahl’s literary influences stemmed from his childhood. In his younger days, he was an avid reader, especially awed by fantastic tales of heroism and triumph. Dahl was also a huge fan of ghost stories and claimed that Trolls by Jonas Lie was one of the finest ghost stories ever written. While he was still a youngster, his mother, Sofie Dahl, would relate traditional Norwegian myths and legends from her native homeland to Dahl and his sisters. Dahl always maintained that his mother and her stories had a strong influence on his writing. The British television series, Tales of the Unexpected, originally aired on ITV between 1979 and 1988.
Roald Dahl died on 23 November 1990, at the age of 74 of a rare cancer of the blood, myelodysplastic syndrome, in Oxford, and was buried in the cemetery at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England. 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. Dahl’s charitable commitments in the fields of neurology, haematology and literacy during his life have been continued by his widow since his death, through Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, formerly known as the Roald Dahl Foundation. In 2008, the UK charity Booktrust and Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen inaugurated The Roald Dahl Funny Prize, an annual award to authors of humorous children’s fiction. Arguably the Shakespeare of children’s literature, from Fantastic Mr Fox to Matilda and The BFG, filmmakers and animators are still drawing from the enormous vat of material he created.
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Britain’s top ten children’s literature superstars”. Regarded as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”, Dahl was named by The Times one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. Sturrock, Donald, Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl, p. Roald Dahl: As popular – and profitable – as ever”. Roald Dahl centenary: ‘Tremendous things’ promised for 2016″.
Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to make up stories ” The Independent. The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″. Britain celebrates first Roald Dahl Day”. Roald Dahl’s greatest philosophical quotes ever”. Roald Dahl and the darkness within”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Blue plaque marks Dahl sweet shop”. The Diner’s Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. Book of the Week, Love from Boy – Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother”. Roald Dahl’s schooldays were filled with the ritual cruelty of fagging for older boys and with terrible beatings”. WEB LINKS: corporal punishment in British schools”. Treglown’s source note is as follows: “Several people who were at the top of Priory House at the time have discussed it with me, particularly B.
Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Penguin UK Authors Archived 1 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Roald Dahl: the champion storyteller p. Repton School ‘helped inspire Dahl’ to write Charlie”. Storyteller: The Authorised Biography of Roald Dahl. Donald Sturrock Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl, p.
The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington. Roald Dahl: the plane crash that gave birth to a writer”. Roald Dahl Slept Here: From attaché to author”. Dahl’s life and those with whom he worked. The Marvellous World of Roald Dahl. Dad also needed happy dreams’: Roald Dahl, his daughters and the BFG”. Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation.
Roald Dahl on the death of his daughter”. Roald Dahl’s secret notebook reveals heartbreak over daughter’s death”, The Daily Telegraph. Read Roald Dahl’s Powerful Pro-Vaccination Letter”. Patricia Neal: a beauty that cut like a knife”. Das Roald-Dahl-Museum in Great Missenden”, dradio. The New Elizabethans – Roald Dahl”.
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Bikinis: The Military Origins of Everyday Words and Phrases. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aviation and Space, Volume 6. Dahl’s Gremlins fly again, thanks to historian’s campaign”. Andrew Maunder The Facts On File companion to the British short story. Roald Dahl Day: From Tales of the Unexpected to Switch Bitch, Dahl’s undervalued stories for adults”. English Gypsy caravan, Gypsy Wagon, Gypsy Waggon and Vardo: Photograph Gallery 1″. Danny, The Champion Of The World.
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The Facts on File companion to the British short story. Discovering modern horror fiction, Volume 2. A plateful of Dahl The Daily Telegraph. Fox’ movie review: Wes Anderson joyfully re-creates Roald Dahl’s foxy family”. Audition Speeches for 6-16 Year Olds. The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History. Dahl’s squishous words get their own dictionary”.
Roald Dahl Day: my glimpse into the great writer’s imagination. How Dylan Thomas’s writing shed inspired Roald Dahl”. Roald Dahl: young tales of the unexpected”. The Paley Center for Media: Way Out”. A giant peach of a property in Dahl country”. 100 most popular children’s authors: biographical sketches and bibliographies”. Roald Dahl and the Chinese chip shop”.