Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and a medical inventor
He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, and a treasury of original, evergreen, and beloved children’s books. He remains for many the world’s No. 1 storyteller.
Born in Llandaff, Wales, on 13th September 1916 to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg. Sadly his early years were blighted by the tragic deaths of his older sister, Astri, and his father.
Wanting the best for her only son, his mother sent him to boarding school where pupils at Repton were invited to trial chocolate bars, a memory that stayed with Dahl inspiring Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Dahl enlisted in the Royal Air Force at 23 years old and in September 1940 received severe injuries to his head, nose and back when his Gladiator crash-landed in the Western Desert. After six months recovering from his injuries in Alexandria, he returned to action.
In 1953 Roald Dahl married the American actress, Patricia Neal, with whom he had five children. They divorced after 30 years, and he later married Felicity “Liccy” Crosland, who has furthered Roald’s legacy through the foundation of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
In 1960 Roald helped invent the Wade-Dahl-Till valve, prompted by the need to alleviate the head injuries endured by his son after an accident in New York.
There followed a burst of literary energy: in 1961 James and the Giant Peach was published in the US, followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Fantastic Mr. Fox was published in 1970, the year before the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released. The rest of the decade saw the publication of many other classics, including Danny the Champion of the World, The Enormous Crocodile, and My Uncle Oswald.
In the early 1980s,
he published The Twits, Revolting Rhymes, The BFG and The Witches. There followed two autobiographical books: Boy, in 1984 and Going Solo, in 1986. Matilda was published in 1988, Esio Trot in 1990, and finally, in 1991, came the posthumous delight of The Minpins.
Roald Dahl died on 23 November 1990, aged 74. He was buried in the parish church of St Peter and St Paul in Great Missenden – the Buckinghamshire village where today The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre continues his extraordinary mission to amaze, thrill and inspire generations of children and their parents.
Whether you’re celebrating in a bookshop, school, library or a living room, or even at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, the pack is filled with ideas. Maybe you’ll build a BFG dream cave, create a reading corner worthy of Matilda, or start growing an enchanted forest for future Minpins.
Join in the fun
Download your 2017 Roald Dahl
Day Party Pack from