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Roald Dahl The Man

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Roald Dahl was one of the greatest story-tellers of all time. He was born in Llanduff, South Wales, of Norwegian parents, in 1916, and educated in English boarding-schools. Then, in search of adventure, the young Dahl took a job with Shell Oil in Africa. When World War II broke out he joined the RAF as a fighter pilot, receiving terrible injuries and almost dying in a plane crash in 1942.

It was following this "monumental bash on the head" and a meeting with C. S. Forester (author of the famous Captain Horatio Hornblower stories) that Roald Dahl's writing career began, with articles for magazines such as The New Yorker. He wrote successful novellas and short stories for adults, such as Tales of the Unexpected, before concentrating on his marvelous children's stories. The first of these, James and the Giant Peach, in 1960, was followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and an unbroken string of hugely successful, best-selling titles.

Roald Dahl worked from a tiny hut in the pale orchard of the Georgian house in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire which he shared with his wife, Liccy. He was always brimming with new ideas and his many books continue to bring enormous enjoyment to millions of children and their parents throughout the world.

Roald Dahl died on November 23, 1990.

Roald Dahl described his life in two books, "Boy" and "Going Solo". The first volume deals with his childhood, the second one with his life after school.

His parents were from Norway, but he was born in Wales, 1916. The family used to spend the summer holidays on a little Norwegian island, swimming, fishing and going by boat. When Roald was four years old, his father died, so his mother had to organise the trip alone for herself and her six children.

At school, he was always homesick. At St. Peter's Prep School, all the letters home were controlled by the headmaster, and afterwards at Repton Public School, he had to wear a horrible school uniform [with braces, waist coat, hat and lots of buttons, all black]. The younger boys were often punished by the headmaster and the older boys called prefects. Roald lays much emphasis on describing the school-beatups in his book. You could get beaten for small mistakes like leaving a football sock on the floor, for burning the prefect's toast at teatime or for forgetting to change into house-shoes at six o'clock.
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