Roald Dahl - an enduring author

cwilko2011 By cwilko2011, 7th Jul 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Children's Books

A brief look at the illustrious career of Roald Dahl.

Early Years

Roald Dahl wrote close to sixty titles during his long career as an author. It is however his legacy of children's literature that has left an enduring impression on the British public and no doubt readers all over the world.

Dahl began writing in the 1940's and had work published during World War Two. His first book, Gremlins, was written for Walt Disney and was to be made into a feature film, though this never happened. Though this was not a major success it did not deter Dahl from continuing to write. Many of his titles are reflective of his early life experiences and some are biographical Boy: Tales of Childhood and Going Solo

Dahl is revered as one of the best writers of the 20th Century, his work spanning many decades and remaining popular with both children and parents alike.

The literature

Whilst Dahl is known for his children's literature, it doesn't fit into the conventions that many other authors fitted into at the time. Dahl's novels were known for their ambiguous endings and dark humour. The author used the Victorian method of bildungsroman* to sculpt his stories.

Many of the characters within his novels are from disadvantaged backgrounds and are given a chance to escape. This is prominent within texts such as Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Danny the Champion of the World.

Interestingly all of the above novels have all been turned into films, the two most successful being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. In fact, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been made into a film twice.

*Bildungsroman - a type of novel that charts the progression of a character from youth to adulthood. n.b while Dahl's characters rarely grew up within his novels, they often matured.


Dahl's literature continues to be amongst some of the most popular literature for children. This is due to the timelessness of his writing and the way in which his stories are transferable throughout the generations.

Dahl does not concern himself with time within his novels and as such leaves them transferable from generation to generation. While his novels are renowned for their dark humour, they are inoffensive and non-exclusatory.

It is clear that this author from humble beginnings will continue to grace the bookshelves of children and adults for generations to come. No one has yet matched the style, depth or enduring popularity this one author has.


Childrens Literature, Literature, Norway, Roald Dahl, The Bfg, The Witches, Walt Disney, World War 2

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author avatar cwilko2011
English Post-grad guy who loves to read.

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author avatar J A Ridley
7th Jul 2011 (#)

Nice page + new word Bildungsroman. thanks

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