Roald Dahl may have written most of our childhood favorites, but not a lot of people know about the author himself. He is behind classics like Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach, but the kids reading his stories have no idea how much he has been through.
The author had an incredible life that is unlike any others. Let's see if you know about his amazing past!
He was a fighter pilot and a spy in World War II
He flew a "Hawker Hurricane" in WWII starting in 1941. His duty came to an end when he started having such severe headaches that would cause him to lose consciousness. But after that he was recruited by MI6. This is how he met Ian Fleming, AKA the creator of James Bond.
He has his own dictionary published by the Oxford English Dictionary
He has created over 250 words and so in honor of his extensive creative works, the Oxford English Dictionary published his own dictionary. It covers his entire language which is referred to as "Gobblefunk". It's used a lot in The BFG by the giants.
He wrote The Twits because he hated beards
Dahl hated beards, so he wrote The Twits as a way to express that. The first sentence actually expresses his feelings very clearly: "What a lot of hairy-faced men there are around nowadays!"
Roald Dahl wrote two very famous movies
After meeting Ian Flemming at MI6, Dahl actually wrote the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice. After that, he wrote the kids' movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
He had a very specific writing schedule and an unusual place to write
Dahl wrote all of his books in a shed in his garden between the hours of 10 a.m. - 12 p.m and 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.. He wrote each and every one of his stories on a yellow legal pad using an HB pencil.
Roald Dahl also collected some very interesting things in his shed...
Dahl suffered long-lasting symptoms after a plane crash in 1940 which resulted in many surgeries
Before he had joined the army he had been in a plane crash in Libya. This injury continued long after and he later realized that there was damage done to his skull, nose, spine and hip. He had two spinal operations, a full hip replacement and 3 other surgeries in his lifetime.
He was a very tall man
He was well over six feet tall, measuring at a staggering 6'6.
He had a very odd collection: His own bone shavings
Due to being in surgery so often, the author decided he would start collecting all the bone shavings that were removed. He also kept his hip bone that was removed when he had an artificial one put in, and he kept it on his desk!
He passed away while writing a third story about Charlie Bucket
It would have been called Charlie Bucket and the White House, but unfortunately it won't ever be completed.
Even though he wrote children's books his last words were a little more inappropriate
He was surrounded by family when he passed away, and while he was scared he said "it’s just that I will miss you all so much." While that seems like it is a nice thing to say to your family, his true last words came a moment later when the nurse stuck him with a needle and he said "Ow, F**k".
He was buried with an unusual collection of his belongings
He was buried with an interesting collection of objects including: a power saw, HB pencils, red wine and 'snooker cues' which is like a billiards cue.