Contributions to Education: Roald Dahl

Born in Wales on 13th September 1916, author Roald Dahl is best known for his quirky children’s novels Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,Matilda,The BFG and many more. Dahl was sent to boarding school as a young boy, it was here that he was inspired to write Boy and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Once leaving school, Dahl went travelling to Canada then to East Africa where he worked for an oil company, until the outbreak of World War Two. At 23 years old, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force where he later crash landed and was left with serious skull, spine and hip injuries. After recovering, he was sent to Washington where he worked as an assistant air attaché, here he began his writing career publishing a story in the Saturday Evening Post.

He published his first children’s story in 1943, The Gremlins for Walt Disney. In 1953, Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal with whom he had five children with, the marriage lasted 30 years. Inspired by the bedtime stories he used to make up for his children, Dahl released his first major children’s book James and the Giant Peach in 1961. The following decades he released an arrange of children’s books including:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1964
Fantastic Mr. Fox 1970
The Twits 1980
George’s Marvellous Medicine 1981
The BFG 1982
The Witches 1983
Matilda 1988

As well as publishing book, Dahl also wrote several TV and movie scripts, many of his books were brought to the big screen including:

Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 1971, 2005
The BFG 1989, 2016
The Witches 1990
Matilda 1996
The Fantastic Mr. Fox 2009

Dahl produced many weird and wonderful children’s books throughout his career. He encouraged his children and readers to let their imaginations run free and enjoy the fantasy. In 1983, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. It was in 183 where he and Patricia Neal got a divorce, soon after he married Felicity (Liccy) Crosland who was his partner until his death in 1990.

Following his death in 1991, his final publications were released and his widow, Liccy set up The Roald Dahl Foundation (later renamed Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity). The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened its doors to the public in 2005 and the following year saw the first every Roald Dahl Day celebration. Dahl legacy continues to inspire children still to this day.

“A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.” Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 1964.

The EduStaff Team

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