Celebrating Roald Dahl


The children’s author wrote 17 books in his career, but did you know these facts about him?

Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff in 1916 to Norwegian parents and lived with his three sisters, the young Roald spoke Norwegian at home.

He had quite a varied career before he started to write, taking part in World War 2 as a fighter pilot. He also lived in Africa and learned to speak Swahili.  He had five children and was married twice, his grand-daughter is the well-known model Sophie Dahl.

Writing habits

Roald used to write in a shed in his garden with a lap tray adapted especially for him to write on. He put in a full day of writing, starting at 10- 12 pm, then again from 4 – 6 pm. Roald is said to have loved the authors, William Thackery, Rudyard Kipling and Charles Dickens, he was friends with Ernest Hemingway.

Roald didn’t use a typewriter, instead, he wrote all of his drafts on yellow legal pads, with a HB pencil. His teachers didn’t think he was very good at writing, instead believing he excelled at sports. Roald was a keen football player but we are glad his love of writing took over later in life.

  • Credited with creating 250 new words
  • Was 6ft 6in tall
  • Based characters on people he knew
  • Wrote the screenplay for a Bond film
  • Wrote the screenplay for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


Don’t miss out on our Enid Blyton post – click here to read 



Karlie Simmonds

Karlie has worked in Digital Media for over 10 years, she is passionate about health and wellbeing and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, children, and Pug, Poppy.