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Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales
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Oxford, Oxfordshire,England, UK
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Roald Dahl (; 13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot.
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Roald Dahl (/ˈroʊ.ɑːl ˈdɑːl/; Norwegian: [ˈɾuːɑl dɑl]; 13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, fighter pilot and screenwriter.
Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of wing commander. Dahl rose to prominence in the 1940s, with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's best-selling authors. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century". In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". His short stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often very dark, humour.
His works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine and The BFG.
Roald Dahl was born at Villa Marie, Fairwater Road in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, in 1916, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (née Hesselberg). Dahl's father had emigrated to the UK from Sarpsborg, Norway, and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s. His mother came over and married his father in 1911. Dahl was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway at the time. He spoke Norwegian at home with his parents and his sisters Astri, Alfhild, and Else. Dahl and his sisters were christened at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped.
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 while on a fishing trip in the Antarctic. With the option of returning to Norway to live with relatives, Dahl's mother decided to remain in Wales because Harald had wished to have their children educated in British schools, which he considered the world's best.
Dahl first attended The Cathedral School, Llandaff. At the age of eight, he and four of his friends (one named Thwaites) were caned by the headmaster after putting a dead mouse in a jar of gobstoppers at the local sweet shop, which was owned by a "mean and loathsome" old woman called Mrs Pratchett. This was known amongst the five boys as the "Great Mouse Plot of 1924".
Thereafter, he transferred to a boarding school in England: Saint Peter's in Weston-super-Mare. Roald's parents had wanted him to be educated at an English public school and, because of a then regular ferry link across the Bristol Channel, this proved to be the nearest. His time at Saint Peter's was an unpleasant experience for him. He was very homesick and wrote to his mother every week but never revealed to her his unhappiness, being under the pressure of school censorship. Only after her death in 1967 did he find out that she had saved every single one of his letters, in small bundles held together with green tape. Dahl wrote about his time at St. Peter's in his autobiography Boy: Tales of Childhood.
From 1929, he attended Repton School in Derbyshire, where, according to Boy: Tales of Childhood, a friend named Michael was viciously caned by headmaster Geoffrey Fisher, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury and went on to crown Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. (However, according to Dahl's biographer Jeremy Treglown, the caning took place in May 1933, a year after Fisher had left Repton. The headmaster concerned was in fact J.T. Christie, Fisher's successor.) This caused Dahl to "have doubts about religion and even about God". He was never seen as a particularly talented writer in his school years, with one of his English teachers writing in his school report "I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended." Dahl was exceptionally tall, reaching 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) in adult life. He excelled at sports, being made captain of the school fives and squash teams, and also playing for the football team. As well as having a passion for literature, he also developed an interest in photography and often carried a camera with him. During his years at Repton, Cadbury, the chocolate company, would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by the pupils. Dahl apparently used to dream of inventing a new chocolate bar that would win the praise of Mr. Cadbury himself; and this proved the inspiration for him to write his third book for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), and to include references to chocolate in other books for children.
Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Dahl spent the majority of his summer holidays with his mother's family in Norway, and wrote about many happy memories from those expeditions in Boy: Tales of Childhood, such
Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet, Fighter Pilot And Screenwriter
Claim to Fame
Fantastic Mr Fox
Sofie Magdalene Dahl Hesselberg
Music Genre (Text)
Children's, Adults' Literature, Horror, Mystery, Fantasy
Music Genre (Text)
Adults' Literature, Horror, Mystery, Fantasy
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