Roald Dahl was born near Cardiff, South Wales on September 13th 1916, and is one of the most unusual fiction writers of the 20th century. Both his parents were Norwegian and this had a great bearing on his writing. As a child the stories that his mother told him were Nordic fantasies of giants, trolls and other strange and gruesome creatures.
Roald Dahl began writing in his mid 20’s. He was a RAF fighter pilot during the Second World War, but he had to leave active service because of injury.
He was sent to Washington DC as an Assistant Air Attaché in the British Embassy. He began to write about his experiences as a wartime flyer in mystical almost poetic language.
It was quite a few years before Roald wrote a story that was not in some way involved in flying. Eventually in 1958 he wrote his first children’s story – James and the Giant Peach. After that he never looked back and there followed classics like – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The Twits, The BFG, and the Witches.
In 1990 Roald was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. He died on November 23rd 1990 at the age of 74. Since his death the sales of his books have maintained their popularity. It is thought that over 100 million copies of his books have been sold.
On January 10th 2012 the British Post Office issued two sets of stamps to commemorate the life and work of Roald Dahl. The first set shows four illustrations from The BFG and the second set shows six of the titles from Dahl’s children’s books.