Fans of ROALD DAHL are in for a treat: a plethora of works by the beloved author is about to hit our screens.
This week, streaming giant Netflix reclaimed its entire catalog, prompting immediate discussion of a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series and an on-screen version of Matilda The Musical, based on another of her books. .
Roald, who died in 1990 at the age of 74, certainly had a knack for creating memorable characters.
Samantha Yule reveals the inspiration behind some of the most bizarre human beans in all of children’s literature.
THE BFG was based on his 6-foot-5 friend and pool opponent Walter Saunders. The builder “Wal” had a bulbous nose and, like the BFG, could wiggle his ears. Wal built the garden shed that Roald wrote in.
The BFG dialect was inspired by the speech of Roald’s first wife, Patricia Neal, as she recovered from a stroke.
The skinny old witch
THE “Skinny Old Witch” Mrs. Pratchett owns a candy store in Boy, Roald’s tale of his early years.
Her real name would be Mrs. Katy Morgan. Her friends take revenge on this creepy filthy old woman by putting a dead mouse in a jar of her gobstoppers. Roald received a caning for his efforts.
The Sophie of the BFG
THE BFG heroine Sophie is based on her granddaughter, model Sophie Dahl, above.
The author told her the story before it was written on paper, once climbing ladders out of her bedroom window pretending to be a giant, while Sophie’s mother reportedly shouted, “Good God, you will fall! “
MR TWIT was inspired by Roald’s loathing for the beard. After meeting the poet Michael Rosen, above, he remarked to Rosen’s young son Joe: âIt probably contains breakfast this morning. And dinner last night.
“And old garbage, all the old things he encountered. You might even find a bicycle wheel there.”
Charlie and the chocolate factory
ROALD attended Repton School, above, where the students tested products from the Cadbury Chocolate Factory.
He said: “I realized that inside this factory there must be an invention room, a secret place where men and women in white overalls spent their time playing with sticky messes. and boiling. “
The author was fascinated by children with extraordinary talents, like the composer and child prodigy Mozart, above, who wrote music from the age of five.
Roald believed that adults often underestimated young people. He gave his psychic schoolgirl Matilda the ability to read from age three.
The spark for Ms. Silver in Esio Trot – played above by Judi Dench – was mentioned in 1978, 12 years before it was published.
As he prepared a speech for the students, Roald told them about a visit to the London apartment of his daughter and neighbor Mrs Shrimpton, the owner of a beautiful turtle she kept on her balcony.
HER Norwegian heritage is highlighted in several stories, including the character of Grandma in The Witches, above. She was based on her mother Sofie.
As a child, Roald spent a summer vacation with his family in Norway, where he was inspired by bedtime witchcraft and magic stories.
ROALD’s love for gardening is behind the look of Matilda’s despicable manageress, Mrs. Trunchbull.
In letters to illustrator Quentin Blake, Roald asked him to base his appearance on horticulturalist Beatrix Havergal, above. She was wearing a belted blouse and panties tucked into high socks.