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who wrote the original story matilda

who wrote the original story matilda

who wrote the original story matilda

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who wrote the original story matilda,

The story of Matilda is a peculiar one originally written by the world-famous British author Roald Dahl. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide making him one of the successful authors on the planet.

Dahl’s greatest works include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, and Matilda. The grand majority of Roald Dahl’s works have been adapted to the big screen and have starred famous actors such as Gene Wilder,

Johnny Depp, and Angelica Huston.

Dahl published Mathilda in 1988, a few years before his death, after a couple of years of writing and based many of the events and characters on personages from his actual life. For instance,

Mr Wormwood is based on a real person that Dahl encountered from his home village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire. Also, Dahl’s town’s library provided inspiration for Mrs Phelps library where Matilda reads from a very young age.

The Matilda story for children has outsold all of Dahl’s other works and was named among the 30th best children’s novel in a survey published by the School Library Journal.

who wrote the original story matilda
who wrote the original story matilda

who wrote the original story matilda,

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Matilda has been adapted as an audio reading by Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, a 1996 feature film directed by Mr Danny Devito, a BBC Radio programme, and a 2010 West End production musical.

Also, it is worth mentioning that in October of 2018, the original illustrator of the novel, Quentin Blake, celebrated the 30th anniversary of Matilda’s release by drawing pictures of her at age 30 and what her life may be.

Of all the adaptions the 1996 feature film version is most recognisable. Devito’s Jersey Films company acquired the rights to adapt the novel to the big screen and joined forces with TriStar Pictures.

Matilda is a cult classic and favourite of so many people, it comes as no surprise that it was adapted to become a musical on the West End in London and later on Broadway.

For family nights full of adventure and fun, watch other favourites such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Frozen, and Mary Poppins.

who wrote the original story matilda
who wrote the original story matilda

Matilda a Villain?

Matilda is a lovable little girl with genius abilities. She’s so smart she even learns how to move things with her mind! But can you imagine if that sweet girl was actually the villain in the story? When Roald Dahl wrote the first draft of Matilda, she was! Roald Dahl’s editor was very upset when he read the original story, and Dahl later admitted that he’d gotten the story wrong. He re-wrote Matilda to be the hero of the story, at the mercy of her mean parents and teacher, Miss Trunchbull.


In early versions the story is a cautionary tale. Matilda is an extremely naughty girl who plays pranks on everyone around her. She dies in melodramatic fashion at the end of the book

Some of the pranks were retained in the published edition. However, there is a happy ending. Matilda, who has supernatural powers, begins a happy life with her favourite teacher, Miss Honey, as her nasty parents flee the police

Who Was Roald Dahl?

Roald Dahl was a British author who penned 19 children’s books over his decades-long writing career. In 1953 he published the best-selling story collection Someone Like You and married actress Patricia Neal. He published the popular book James and the Giant Peach in 1961. In 1964 he released another highly successful work, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was later adapted for two films.

Early Life

Dahl was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1916, in the district of Llandaff. His parents were Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl (née Hesselberg), both of whom were Norwegian immigrants. Harold had originally immigrated from Norway in the 1880s and lived in Cardiff with his French first wife, with whom he had two children (a daughter, Ellen, and a son, Louis) before her death in 1907.

Sofie immigrated later and married Harold in 1911. They had five children, Roald and his four sisters Astri, Alfhild, Else, and Asta, all of whom they raised Lutheran. In 1920, Astri died suddenly of appendicitis, and Harold died of pneumonia only weeks later; Sofie was pregnant with Asta at the time. Instead of returning to her family in Norway, she stayed in the UK, wanting to follow her husband’s wishes to give their children an English education.

who wrote the original story matilda
who wrote the original story matilda

Early Life

As a boy, Dahl was sent to an English public boarding school, St. Peter’s. He was intensely unhappy during his time there, but never let his mother know how he felt about it. In 1929, he moved to Repton School in Derbyshire, which he found equally unpleasant due to the culture of intense hazing and the cruelty with which older students dominated and bullied the younger ones; his hatred for corporal punishment stemmed from his school experiences. One of the cruel headmasters he loathed, Geoffrey Fisher, later became the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the association somewhat soured Dahl on religion.

Surprisingly, he was not noted as a particularly talented writer during his schoolboy days; in fact, many of his evaluations reflected precisely the opposite. He did enjoy literature, as well as sports and photography. Another of his iconic creations was sparked by his schooling experiences: the Cadbury chocolate company occasionally sent samples of new products to be tested by Repton students, and Dahl’s imagination of new chocolate creations would later turn into his famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He graduated in 1934 and took a job with the Shell Petroleum Company; he was sent as an oil supplier to Kenya and Tanganyika (modern-day Tanzania).

why a writer?

Dahl’s children’s fiction is known for its sudden turns into the fantastic, its fast-moving pace,

and its decidedly harsh treatment of any adults foolish enough to cause trouble for the young heroes and heroines. Similarly,

his adult fiction often relied on a sudden twist that threw light on what had been happening in the story.

Looking back on his years as a writer in Boy: Tales of Childhood, Dahl contended that “two hours of writing fiction leaves this particular writer absolutely drained. For those two hours he has been miles away, he has been somewhere else, in a different place with totally different people, and the effort of swimming back into normal surroundings is very great. It is almost a shock.… A person is a fool to become a writer. His only [reward] is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”

Fun facts about Roald Dahl

Dahl wrote two autobiographies. The first was called Boy and covered his childhood up to the age of 20. The second was Going Solo where he talks about his first jobs and his experiences as a fighter pilot in WWII.

Roald was married to Hollywood actress Patricia Neal.

He kept a diary as a child and hid it up at the top of a tree so his sisters couldn’t get to it.

He was 6 feet 6 inches tall! His favorite color was yellow and his favorite food was caviar.

who wrote the original story matilda
who wrote the original story matilda

Dahl had to write Matilda twice

It took Dahl at least two years to write and rewrite Matilda. In 1988, the year the book was published, he told interviewer Todd McCormack, “I got it wrong. I’d spent six or eight or nine months writing it and right when I’d finished, it wasn’t right … it just wasn’t right … I started the whole book again and rewrote every word.” He added, “Now I’m fairly happy with it. I think it’s OK, but it certainly wasn’t before.”

The subject was dear to Dahl.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in November 2013, Roald Dahl’s daughter Lucy explained that her father’s novel was, in part, about his love for books: “Matilda was one of the most difficult books for him to write. I think that there was a deep genuine fear within his heart that books were going to go away and he wanted to write about it.”

Matilda was written in a garden.

Dahl famously wrote most of his works from a small, cozy hut in his garden. He worked in pencil on yellow legal notepaper while sitting in his mother’s old armchair with a specially made desktop across his lap. Lucy Dahl’s description of her father’s writing process is enchanting:

His hut was a sacred place. … We were all allowed to go in there,

but we only disturbed him when we absolutely needed to because he used to say that his hut was his nest. You would walk in and the smells were so familiar — that very old paper from filing cabinets. And he sat in his mother’s old armchair and then put his feet up on an old leather trunk,

and then on top of that he would get into an old down sleeping bag that he would put his legs into to keep him warm.… He always had six pencils with an electric sharpener that he would sharpen at the beginning of each session. His work sessions were very strict—he worked from 10 until 12 every day and then again from 3 until 5 every day.

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