13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British
novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter.
Born in Llandaff, Wales to Norwegian parents, Dahl served in the Royal
Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace. He
also served as a brilliant spy of legendary tales
. He rose to prominence in
the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the
world's bestselling authors. His short stories are known for their
unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often
very dark humour.
Some of his most popular books include The Twits, Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic
Mr. Fox, Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG.
Comment "I was lucky enough to know Roald Dahl when I was a young boy and often went to his home at Gipsy house and once
presented Patricia Neal with a bouquet"
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Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales in 1916, to Norwegian
parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (née Hesselberg).
Dahl's father had moved from Norway and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s, and
his mother came over to marry his father in about 1910. Roald 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 sisters, Astri,
Alfhild, and Else. Dahl and his sisters were christened at the Norwegian
Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped.
In 1920, when Roald was still only three years old, his seven-year-old
sister, Astri, died from appendicitis. Just weeks later, his father died of
pneumonia at the age of 57, following grief from his daughter's death.
Dahl's mother, however, decided not to return to Norway to live with her
relatives, but to remain in Wales since it had been her husband's wish to
have their children educated in British schools as he felt they were the
best in the world.
Dahl first attended The Cathedral School, Llandaff. At the age of eight,
he and four of his friends were caned by the headmaster after putting a dead
mouse in a jar of sweets at the local sweet shop, which was owned by a "mean
and loathsome" old woman called Mrs Pratchett (wife of blacksmith David
Pratchett). This was known amongst the five boys as the "Great Mouse Plot of
1924". This was Roald's own idea.
Thereafter, he was sent to several boarding schools in England, including
Saint Peter's in Weston-super-Mare. His parents had wanted Roald to be
educated at a British public school and at the time, due to a then regular
boat 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 almost every day, 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. He later attended
Repton School in Derbyshire, where, according to his autobiography Boy,
a friend named Michael was viciously caned by headmaster Geoffrey Fisher,
the man who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury and crowned the Queen
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".
Dahl was very tall, reaching 6'6" (1.98m) in adult life,
and he was good at sports, being made captain of the school fives and squash
teams, and also playing for the football team. This helped his popularity.
He developed an interest in photography. During his years there, Cadbury,
the chocolate company, would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to
the school to be tested by the pupils. Dahl himself 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, which was released in
1963 and he also included references to chocolate in other books for
Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Dahl spent his summer
holidays with his mother's family in their native Norway, mostly enjoying
the fjords. His childhood and first job selling kerosene in Midsomer Norton
and surrounding villages in Somerset are the subject of his autobiographical
work, Boy: Tales of Childhood.
After finishing his schooling, he spent three weeks hiking through
Newfoundland with a group called the Public Schools' Exploring Society (now
known as BSES Expeditions). In July 1934, he joined the Shell Petroleum
Following two years of training in the UK, he was transferred to Dar-es-Salaam,
Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Along with the only two other Shell employees in
the entire territory, he lived in luxury in the Shell House outside Dar-es-Salaam,
with a cook and personal servants. While out on assignments supplying oil to
customers across Tanganyika, he encountered black mambas and lions, amongst
World War II
In August 1939, as World War II impended, plans were made to round up the
hundreds of Germans in Dar-es-Salaam. Dahl was made an officer in the King's
African Rifles, commanding a platoon of askaris, indigenous troops serving
in the colonial army.
In November 1939, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force. After a 600-mile
(970 km) car journey from Dar-es-Salaam to Nairobi, he was accepted for
flight training with 20 other men, and was one of only three who survived
the war, as the other 17 died in combat. With seven hours and 40 minutes
experience in a De Havilland Tiger Moth, he flew solo; Dahl enjoyed watching
the wildlife of Kenya during his flights. He continued on to advanced flying
training in Iraq, at RAF Habbaniya, 50 miles (80 km) west of Baghdad.
Following six months training on Hawker Harts, Dahl was made a Pilot
He was assigned to No. 80 Squadron RAF, flying obsolete Gloster
Gladiators, the last biplane fighter plane used by the RAF. Dahl was
surprised to find that he would not receive any specialised training in
aerial combat, or in regard to flying Gladiators. On 19 September 1940, Dahl
was ordered to fly his Gladiator from Abu Sueir in Egypt, on to Amiriya to
refuel, and again to Fouka in Libya for a second refuelling. From there he
would fly to 80 Squadron's forward airstrip 30 miles (48 km) south of Mersa
Matruh. On the final leg, he could not find the airstrip and, running low on
fuel and with night approaching, he was forced to attempt a landing in the
desert. The undercarriage hit a boulder and the plane crashed, fracturing
his skull, smashing his nose, and temporarily blinding him. He managed to
drag himself away from the blazing wreckage and passed out. Later, he wrote
about the crash for his first published work.
Dahl was rescued and taken to a first-aid post in Mersa Matruh, where he
regained consciousness, but not his sight, and was then taken by train to
the Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. There he fell in and out of love with
a nurse, Mary Welland. Dahl had fallen in love with her voice while he was
blind, but once he regained his sight, he decided that he no longer loved
her. An RAF inquiry into the crash revealed that the location he had been
told to fly to was completely wrong, and he had mistakenly been sent instead
to the no man's land between the Allied and Italian forces.
In February 1941, Dahl was discharged 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. Dahl flew a replacement Hurricane across the
Mediterranean Sea in April 1941, after seven hours flying Hurricanes. By
this stage in the Greek campaign, the RAF had only 18 combat planes in
Greece: 14 Hurricanes and four Bristol Blenheim light bombers. Dahl saw his
first aerial combat on 15 April 1941, while flying alone over the city of
Chalcis. He attacked six Junkers Ju-88s that were bombing ships and shot one
down. On 16 April in another air battle, he shot down another Ju-88.
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. Greek observers on the ground
counted 22 German aircraft downed, but none of the pilots knew who they shot
down due to the carnage of the aerial engagement. Dahl described it as "an
endless blur of enemy fighters whizzing towards me from every side."
The wing returned back to Elevsis. Later on in the day, the aerodrome was
strafed by Bf 109s, but none of them hit any of the Hawker Hurricanes. The
Hurricanes were then evacuated on 21 April 1941 to a small, secret airfield
near Megara, a small village, where the pilots hid. Approximately 50 miles
(80 km) north half of the Luftwaffe were searching for the remaining
Hurricanes. By approximately 6 or 7 a.m., about thirty Bf-109s and Stuka
dive-bombers flew over the seven pilots who were hiding. The Stukas dived
bombed a tanker in the Bay of Athens, and sank it. Dahl and his comrades
were only 500 yards (460 m) away from the incident. Surprisingly, none of
the bombers nor the fighters were able to spot the Hurricanes parked in the
nearby field. Sometime in the afternoon, an Air Commodore arrived in a car
to the airfield and asked if one of the seven could volunteer to fly and
deliver a package to a man named Carter at Elevsis. Roald Dahl was the only
one who volunteered to do it. The contents of the package were of vital
importance, and Dahl was told that if he was shot down, or captured, he
should burn the package immediately, so it would not fall into enemy hands,
and once he had handed over the package, he was to fly to Argos, an
airfield, with the rest of the seven pilots in the squadron.
For the rest of April, the situation was horrible for the RAF in Greece.
If the Luftwaffe destroyed the remaining seven planes, they would then have
complete control of the skies in Greece. They intended to wipe them out. If
the squadron were to be found, it would mean the worst. According to Dahl's
report, at about 4:30 p.m. a Bf 110 swooped over the airfield at Argos, and
found them. The pilots discussed that it would take the 110 roughly half an
hour to return to base, and then another half hour for the whole enemy
squadron to get ready for take-off, and then another half hour for them to
reach Argos. They had roughly an hour and thirty minutes until they would be
strafed by enemy aircraft. However, instead of having the remaining seven
pilots airborne and intercepting the 110s an hour ahead, the CO ordered them
to escort ships evacuating their army in Greece at 6:00. The seven planes
got up into the air, but the formation was quickly disorganised as the
radios were not working. Dahl and Coke found themselves separated from the
rest of the wing. They could not communicate with the rest of the wing, so
they continued on flying, looking for the ships to escort. Eventually they
ran out of fuel and returned back to Argos, where they found the entire
airfield in smoke and flames, with tents flamed, ammunition destroyed, etc.;
however there were few casualties. While Roald Dahl and David Coke took off,
three other aircraft in the wing somehow managed to get away. The sixth
pilot who was taking off was strafed by the enemy and killed. The seventh
pilot managed to bail out. Everybody else in the camp was hiding in the slit
trenches. Immediately after Dahl and Coke figured out what was going on, the
squadron was sent to Crete. A month later they were evacuated to Egypt.
As the Germans were pressing on Athens, Dahl was evacuated to Egypt. His
squadron was reassembled in Haifa. From there, Dahl flew missions every day
for a period of four weeks, downing a Vichy French Air Force Potez 63 on 8
June and another Ju-88 on 15 June, but he then began to get severe headaches
that caused him to black out. He was invalided home to Britain; at this time
his rank was Flight Lieutenant.
Dahl began writing in 1942, after he was transferred to Washington, D.C.
as Assistant Air Attaché. His first published work, in the 1 August 1942
issue of The Saturday Evening Post was "Shot Down Over Libya",
describing the crash of his Gloster Gladiator. C. S. Forester had asked Dahl
to write down some RAF anecdotes so that he could shape them into a story.
After Forester sat down to read what Dahl had given him, he decided to
publish it exactly as it was. The original title of the article was "A Piece
of Cake"—the title was changed to sound more dramatic, despite the fact that
the he was not "shot down".
During the war, Forester worked for the British Information Service 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 Stephenson and his organisation,
which was known as British Security Coordination. Dahl was sent back to
Britain, for supposed misconduct by British Embassy officials: "I got booted
out by the big boys," he said. Stephenson sent him back to Washington—with a
promotion. After the war,
Dahl wrote some of the history of the secret organisation and he and
Stephenson remained friends for decades after the war.
He ended the war as a Wing Commander. His record of five aerial
victories, qualifying him as a flying ace, has been confirmed by post-war
research and cross-referenced in Axis records, although it is most likely
that he scored more than that during 20 April 1941 where 22 German aircraft
He was also revealed in the 1980s to have been a clandestine agent for
MI-6, the British Foreign Intelligence Service, serving in the United States
to help promote Britain's interests and message in the United States and
combat the "America First" movement, working with other well known men
including Ian Fleming and David Ogilvy.
Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal on 2 July 1953 at Trinity
Church in New York City. Their marriage lasted for 30 years and they had
five children: Olivia (who died of measles encephalitis in 1962, aged
seven), Tessa, Theo, Ophelia, and Lucy. He dedicated The BFG to
Olivia after her death, and subsequently became a proponent of immunisation.
When he was four months old, Theo Dahl was severely injured when his baby
carriage was hit by a taxi in New York City. For a time, he suffered from
hydrocephalus, and as a result, his father became involved in the
development of what became known as the "Wade-Dahl-Till" (or WDT) valve, a
device to alleviate the condition.
In 1965, Neal suffered three burst cerebral aneurysms while pregnant with
their fifth child, Lucy; Dahl took control of her rehabilitation and she
eventually relearned to talk and walk.
They were divorced in 1983 following a turbulent marriage, and he
subsequently married Felicity ("Liccy") d'Abreu Crosland (born 12 December
1938), who was 22 years his junior.
Ophelia Dahl is director and co-founder (with doctor Paul Farmer) of
Partners in Health, a non-profit organisation. Lucy Dahl is a screenwriter
in Los Angeles. Tessa's daughter Sophie Dahl (who was the inspiration for
Sophie, the main character in her grandfather's book The BFG) is a
model and author who remembers Roald Dahl as "a very difficult man – very
strong, very dominant ... not unlike the father of the Mitford sisters sort
of roaring round the house with these very loud opinions, banning certain
types – foppish boys, you know – from coming round."
Death and legacy
Roald Dahl died in November 1990 at the age of 74 of a rare blood
disease, myelodysplastic anaemia (sometimes called "pre-leukemia"), at his
home, Gipsy House in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, and was buried
in the cemetery at the parish church of Saints Peter and Paul. According to
his granddaughter, the family gave him a "sort of Viking funeral". He was
buried with his snooker cues, some very good burgundy, chocolates, HB
pencils and a power saw. In his honour, the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery
was opened at Buckinghamshire County Museum in nearby Aylesbury.
In 2002, one of Cardiff's modern landmarks, the historic Oval Basin
plaza, was re-christened "Roald Dahl Plass". "Plass" means plaza in
Norwegian, a nod to the acclaimed late writer's Norwegian roots. There have
also been calls from the public for a permanent statue of him to be erected
in the city.
Dahl's charitable commitments in the fields of neurology, haematology and
literacy have been continued by his widow since his death, through the Roald
Dahl Foundation. In June
2005, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened in Great Missenden to
celebrate the work of Roald Dahl and advance his work in literacy.
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.
Roald Dahl Day
The anniversary of Dahl's birthday on 13 September has recently become
widely celebrated as Roald Dahl Day.
Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester,
was "Shot Down Over Libya." Today the story is published as "A Piece of
Cake". The story, about his wartime adventures, was bought by The
Saturday Evening Post for $900, and propelled him into a career as a
writer. Its title was inspired by a highly inaccurate and sensationalised
article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot
down instead of simply having to land due to low fuel.
His first children's book was The Gremlins, about mischievous
little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. The book was commissioned
by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl
went on to create some of the best-loved children's stories of the 20th
century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda
and James and the Giant Peach.
Everybody likes pie
He 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.
Many were originally written for American magazines such as Collier's,
Ladies Home Journal, Harper's, Playboy and The New
Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining
worldwide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have
appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form
after his death (See List of Roald Dahl short stories). His stories also
brought him three Edgar Awards: in 1954, for the collection Someone Like
You; in 1959, for the story "The Landlady"; and in 1980, for the episode
of Tales of the Unexpected based on "Skin".
One of his more famous adult stories, "The Smoker" (also known as "Man
From the South"), was filmed twice as both 1960 and 1985 episodes of
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and also adapted into Quentin Tarantino's
segment of the 1995 film Four Rooms. This bizarre, oft-anthologised
suspense classic concerns a man residing in Jamaica who wagers with visitors
in an attempt to claim the fingers from their hands; the 1960 Hitchcock
version stars Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre.
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". When the stock of Dahl's own original stories was exhausted, the
series continued by adapting stories by authors that were written in Dahl's
style, including the American writers John Collier and Stanley Ellin.
He acquired a traditional Romanichal Gypsy wagon in the 1960s and the
family used it as a playhouse for his children. He later used the vardo
as a writing room, where he wrote the book Danny, the Champion of the
A number of his short stories are supposed to be extracts from the diary
of his (fictional) Uncle Oswald, a rich gentleman whose sexual exploits form
the subject of these stories. In his novel "My Uncle Oswald" the uncle
engages a temptress to seduce 20th Century geniuses and royalty with a love
potion secretly added to chocolate truffles made by Dahl's favourite
chocolate shop, Prestat of Piccadilly.
For a brief, relatively unsuccessful period in the 1960s, Dahl wrote
screenplays. Two of his screenplays – the James Bond film You Only Live
Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – were adaptations of novels by
Ian Fleming. Dahl also wrote an initial draft adapting his own novel
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was heavily rewritten by David
Seltzer, and produced as the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
(1971). Dahl later disowned the film. Dahl would later receive posthumous
songwriting credits for the soundtrack of Tim Burton's 2005 film adaptation
of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as several songs written by
Dahl for the novel were used in the film, set to music composed by Danny
Memories with Food at Gipsy House, written with his wife Felicity
and published posthumously in 1991, was a mixture of recipes, family
reminiscences and Dahl's musings on favourite subjects such as chocolate,
onions, and claret.
Dahl ranks amongst the world's bestselling fiction authors, with sales
estimated at 100 million.
Dahl's children's works are usually told from the point of view of a
child. They typically involve adult villains or villainesses who hate and
mistreat children, and feature at least one "good" adult to counteract the
villain(s). These stock characters are possibly a reference to the abuse
that Dahl stated that he experienced in the boarding schools he attended.
They usually contain a lot of black humour and grotesque scenarios,
including gruesome violence. The Witches, George's Marvellous
Medicine and Matilda are examples of this formula. The BFG
follows it in a more analogous way with the good giant (the BFG or "Big
Friendly Giant") representing the "good adult" archetype and the other
giants being the "bad adults". This formula is also somewhat evident in
Dahl's film script for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Class-conscious
themes – ranging from the thinly veiled to the blatant – also surface in
works such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and Danny, the Champion of the
Dahl also features in his books characters that 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 features as an enormously fat character. All of these
characters (with the possible exception of Bruce Bogtrotter) are either
villains or simply unpleasant gluttons. They are usually punished for this:
Augustus Gloop drinks from Willy Wonka's chocolate river, disregarding the
adults who tell him not to, and falls in, getting sucked up a pipe and
nearly being turned into fudge. Bruce Bogtrotter steals cake from the evil
headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and is forced to eat a gigantic chocolate
cake in front of the school. Bruno Jenkins is turned into a mouse by witches
who lure him to their convention with the promise of chocolate and, it is
speculated, possibly disowned or even killed by his parents because of this.
Aunt Sponge is flattened by a giant peach.
Dahl's mother used to tell him and his sisters tales about trolls and
other mythical Norwegian creatures and some of his children's books contain
references or elements inspired by these stories, such as the giants in
The BFG, the fox family in Fantastic Mr. Fox and the trolls in
In 1961, Dahl hosted and wrote for a science fiction and horror
television anthology series called Way Out, which preceded the
similar but less dark and edgy Twilight Zone series on the CBS
network Saturday nights for 14 episodes
from March to July. Dahl's comedic monologues bookended the episodes,
frequently explaining exactly how to murder one's spouse without getting
caught. One of the last dramatic network shows done in New York City, the
entire series is available for viewing at The Paley Center for Media in New
York and Los Angeles.
Tales of the Unexpected
Tales of the Unexpected is a British television series that
originally aired between 1979 and 1988, made by Anglia Television for ITV.
The series was an anthology of different tales, initially based on short
stories, collected in a book of the same title, by the author Roald Dahl.
The stories were sometimes sinister, sometimes wryly comedic, and usually
had a twist ending.
List of works
- The Gremlins (1943)
- James and the Giant Peach (1961) — Film: James and the
Giant Peach (live-action/animated) (1996)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) — Films: Willy
Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory (2005)
- The Magic Finger (1 June 1966)
- Fantastic Mr Fox (9 December 1970) — Film: Fantastic Mr.
Fox (animated) (2009)
- Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (9 January 1972) A
sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- Danny, the Champion of the World (30 October 1975) — Film:
Danny the Champion of the World (TV movie) (1989)
- The Enormous Crocodile (24 August 1978)
- The Twits (9 October 1980)
- George's Marvellous Medicine (21 May 1981)
- The BFG (14 October 1982) — Film: The BFG (animated)
- The Witches (27 October 1983) — Film: The Witches
- The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (26 September 1985)
- Matilda (21 April 1988) — Film: Matilda (1996)
- Esio Trot (19 April 1990)
- The Vicar of Nibbleswicke (9 May 1991)
- The Minpins (8 August 1991)
- Revolting Rhymes (10 June 1982)
- Dirty Beasts (25 October 1984)
- Rhyme Stew (21 September 1989)
- Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes by Felicity Dahl, et al.
(1994), a collection of recipes based on and inspired by food in Dahl's
books, created by Roald & Felicity Dahl, and Josie Fison
- Roald Dahl's Even More Revolting Recipes by Felicity Dahl,
et al. (2001)
- Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen (1948)
- My Uncle Oswald (1979)
Short story collections
- Over To You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying (1946)
- Someone Like You (1953)
- Lamb to the Slaughter (1953)
- Kiss Kiss (1960)
- Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl (1969)
- Switch Bitch (1974)
- The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (1977)
- The Best of Roald Dahl (1978)
- Tales of the Unexpected (1979)
- More Tales of the Unexpected (1980)
- Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories (1983). Edited with an
introduction by Dahl.
- The Roald Dahl Omnibus (Dorset Press, 1986)
- Two Fables (1986). "Princess and the Poacher" and "Princess
- Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl
- The Collected Short Stories of Dahl (1991)
- The Great Automatic Grammatizator (1997). (Known in the USA
as The Umbrella Man and Other Stories).
- Skin And Other Stories (2000)
- Roald Dahl: Collected Stories (2006)
- The Roald Dahl Treasury (2008)
See the alphabetical List of Roald Dahl short stories. See also Roald
Dahl: Collected Stories for a complete, chronological listing.
- The Mildenhall Treasure (1946, 1977, 1999)
- Boy – Tales of Childhood (1984) Recollections up to the age
of 20, looking particularly at schooling in Britain in the early part of
the 20th century.
- Going Solo (1986) Continuation of his autobiography, in which
he goes to work for Shell and spends some time working in Tanzania
before joining the war effort and becoming one of the last Allied pilots
to withdraw from Greece during the German invasion.
- Measles, a Dangerous Illness (1986)
- Memories with Food at Gipsy House (1991)
- Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety (1991)
- My Year (1993)
- The Honeys (1955) Produced at the Longacre Theater on
- The Gremlins (1943)
- 36 Hours (1965)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
- The Night Digger (1971)
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- Way Out (1961) Horror series hosted by Roald Dahl and
produced by David Susskind
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Lamb to the Slaughter" (1958)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Dip in the Pool" (1958)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Poison" (1958)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Man from the South" (1960) with Steve
McQueen and Peter Lorre
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat"
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "The Landlady" (1961)
- Tales of the Unexpected (1979-88), episodes written and
introduced by Roald Dahl.
In 1983 Dahl reviewed Tony Clifton's God Cried, a picture book
about the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon depicting Israelis killing
thousands of Beirut inhabitants by bombing civilian targets. Dahl's review
stated that this invasion was when "we all started hating Israel", and that
the book would make readers "violently anti-Israeli", but subsequently
insisted, "I am not anti-Semitic. I am anti-Israel."
Dahl told a reporter in 1983, "There’s a trait in the Jewish character that
does provoke animosity ... I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything
crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for
Nonetheless Dahl maintained friendships with a number of Jews, including
philosopher Isaiah Berlin, who said, "I thought he might say anything. Could
have been pro-Arab or pro-Jew. There was no consistent line. He was a man
who followed whims, which meant he would blow up in one direction, so to
speak." In later
years, Dahl included a sympathetic episode about German-Jewish refugees in
his book Going Solo, and claimed to be opposed to injustice, not