Two weeks ago, we announced our Bimonthly theme for September and October here in GatheringBooks: Everything Dahl and Magical. We thought it would be a cute add-in to share a bit of trivia about Roald Dahl every other Wednesday starting this week. Given the fact that there are so many books written about this great man, I know that we shall not lack for resources. I have also borrowed the book D is for Dahl compiled by Wendy Cooling – from our community library.
As I read through the A Gloriumptious A-Z Guide to the world of Roald Dahl with Illustrations by Quentin Blake – I shall share some random fact about Dahl that I find fascinating. The lovely thing about this book is that it is not a ‘biography’ in the traditional sense – it merely presents glorious fragments of information about the great man himself in A-Z format, making you thirst for more more more! Haha.
Let me present these random facts then in bullet point format to kind of whet your appetite a bit:
- Roald takes almost a year to write each of his children’s books. He would usually write them in a pile of yellow paper with his scribblings and he would ask Wendy Kress, his trusted typist to transform them into a “neat printed manuscript.” He also believes that “writers need a lively imagination, stamina (few people get it right first time, unless of course they’re Charles Dickens, but he was a genius and they’re rare!) and most important of all, a keen sense of humour” (p. 5).
- Roald was the apple of his mother’s eye being the only boy of five children. His eldest sister, Astri died from appendicitis when she was only seven years old. He is said to be very close to Alfhild, his second eldest sister who was described to be a ‘genuine eccentric’ (as evidenced in her dancing on table tops and drinking champagne out of her shoe – must have been quite ‘shocking’ and ‘wild’ during their time).
- There is presently a campaign to preserve the Roald Dahl hut which is in danger of collapsing from decay. A staggering amount of 500,000 pounds is required to move and preserve it in the Roald Dahl Museum (source: BBC News). Interestingly, the hut where Roald Dahl wrote his bestselling novels has no desk or table – he is said to balance a makeshift writing board on his knees and use an HB pencil to write down his thoughts in a special yellow paper. Now, that’s cool!
Here is a video clip of the campaign to save the Roald Dahl Hut which apparently is riddled with quite a number of issues and outcry against those who believe that the costs should be shouldered by Roald Dahl’s family (source here – special thanks to a good friend, Ken Quek for leading me to these resources).
If you wish to take an interactive online tour of Roald Dahl hut, click here to be taken to The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre website who made certain that avid readers across the globe can have a feel of what it is like to walk through the same ground and breathe the same air that Roald Dahl did. Enjoy!