As part of Roald Dahl day, young people at Wings School Cumbria have been learning about the different characters in Roald Dahl's books. They had a great time in their photography lesson superimposing his characters into photos of locations around the school.
Born in Wales in 1916, Roald Dahl led a full and fascinating life before becoming one of the best-known and best-selling authors of the 20th century.
Named after Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, Dahl exhibited an adventurous spirit from an early age. After he finished school, he worked for Shell Petroleum in present-day Tanzania, then became an aircraftman for the Royal Air Force in 1939, when World War II loomed on the horizon. Narrowly surviving a desert crash landing and the Battle of Athens, Dahl then received an appointment as assistant air attache at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. During this time, he supplied intelligence to Winston Churchill, helping to smooth the relationship between the British Prime Minister and American President Franklin Roosevelt.
Dahl’s military career inspired much of his early writing. His first published story recounts his crash landing, while his first children’s book, “The Gremlins,” features mischievous creatures that sabotage RAF aircraft. He continued to draw inspiration from his immediate surroundings, basing many of his settings and scenes on true aspects of Great Missenden, the Buckinghamshire village he and his family called home. He went on to write more than 30 novels, creating iconic characters including Willy Wonka, Matilda, and Mr. Fox, and dozens of screenplays for shows including “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”
His writing style is known for its unique, often original vocabulary, humorous poems, and ability to write from a child’s perspective. His books, though full of dark undercurrents and macabre settings, ultimately show good and kind children triumphing over evil, greedy adults.