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Roald Dahl

Dahl gifted readers some of literature’s most abiding and wonderful characters, from the lovable dream-whispering, word-mangling giant, the BFG, to magical Matilda, chocolate-maker extraordinaire Willy Wonka and many more. Endlessly inventive and laugh-out- loud funny, Dahl’s stories reinvent the world for every new generation. They are rightly ranked among the greatest classics of children’s fiction, stories that celebrate kindness, bravery and hope. Oh and whizzpopping.

Read on

Quentin Blake Paperback Editions

The Witches
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Paperback
James and the Giant Peach
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The BFG
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Paperback
Matilda
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The Twits
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Paperback
Revolting Rhymes (Colour Edition)
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Danny the Champion of the World
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
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George's Marvellous Medicine
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Fantastic Mr Fox
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Esio Trot
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The Enormous Crocodile
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The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
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The Magic Finger
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Paperback
Boy
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Boy
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Hardback
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Want the chance to win an exclusive print of 'Matilda as Chief Executive of the British Library’ signed by Sir Quentin Blake? Head to our Matilda prize draw page here.

October 2019 marks 30 years since Matilda was published! This brand new jacket comes with a never-before-seen illustration of Matilda as the Director of the British Library - one of the careers that Sir Quentin Blake himself has imagined that Matilda might have at 30 years old. Discover the other jackets in this special 30th anniversary collection: Matilda as a world traveller and Matilda as an astrophysicist.

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Colour-illustrated by Quentin Blake

The BFG (Colour Edition & CD)
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Dirty Beasts
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£7.99
Paperback
The Enormous Crocodile (Colour Edition)
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Esio Trot (Colour Edition)
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Fantastic Mr Fox (Colour Edn)
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George's Marvellous Medicine (Colour Edn)
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The Magic Finger
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£7.99
Paperback
Matilda (Colour Edition)
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Revolting Rhymes (Colour Edition)
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£7.99   £5.99
Paperback
The Twits (Colour Edition)
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The Witches (Colour Edition)
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Roald Dahl Autobiographies

Boy
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Boy
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Going Solo
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Paperback
Boy and Going Solo
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£9.99
Paperback
More About Boy
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£12.99
Paperback


CD Audiobooks

The BFG
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£12.99
CD-Audio
Boy
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Boy
£12.99
CD-Audio
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
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Danny the Champion of the World
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The Enormous Crocodile
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Fantastic Mr Fox
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£9.99
CD-Audio
George's Marvellous Medicine
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Going Solo
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£12.99
CD-Audio
James and the Giant Peach
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The Magic Finger and The Minpins
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Matilda
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£12.99
CD-Audio
Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts
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Revolting Rhymes (Colour Edition)
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£9.99
Mixed media product
The Twits
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£9.99
CD-Audio
The Witches
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£12.99
CD-Audio


Hardback Editions

Matilda at 30: Astrophysicist
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Matilda at 30: World Traveller
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Matilda
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£9.99
Hardback
The BFG
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£9.99
Hardback
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
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Danny the Champion of the World
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Fantastic Mr Fox
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£9.99
Hardback
George's Marvellous Medicine
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James and the Giant Peach
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The Twits
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£9.99
Hardback
The Witches
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£9.99
Hardback


Dahl After Dark - Roald Dahl's Adult Fiction

The stories that make up this new, four-volume set from Penguin Books are not written by the Roald Dahl who could by turn spin wonder and adventure in the minds of the world’s children: this is the other Dahl, the author who took on form of the short twist in the tale and made it into art. This is Dahl after Dark.

Deception
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Paperback
Madness
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£8.99
Paperback
Cruelty
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Paperback
Lust
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Paperback


Gift Editions and Anthologies

The BFG - Waterstones exclusive edition
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Roald Dahl's Glorious Galumptious Story Collection
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Roald Dahl's Scrumdiddlyumptious Story Collection
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Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary
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The Roald Dahl Centenary Boxed Set
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£100.00
Mixed media product
The Roald Dahl Treasury
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Songs and Verse
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£18.99
Hardback
Roald Dahl's Glorious Galumptious Story Collection
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The Roald Dahl Treasury
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Roald Dahls Heroes and Villains
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Roald Dahl Treasury,The
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Roald Dahl 100 Phizz-Whizzing Postcards
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Roald Dahl Stationery

Roald Dahl A5 Journal
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£9.99
Notebook / blank book
Roald Dahl Three Delumptious Exercise Books
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£11.99
Notebook / blank book
Roald Dahl Squibbling Pen
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£9.99
General merchandise
Roald Dahl Colouring Pencils In Tube
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£7.99
General merchandise
Roald Dahl Pencil Case
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£7.99
General merchandise
Roald Dahl 100 Phizz-Whizzing Postcards
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Roald Dahl Cuddly Toys

Willy Wonka Soft Toy
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£9.99
Soft toy
Matilda Soft Toy
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£9.99
Soft toy
BFG Small Plush
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£9.99
Soft toy


Roald Dahl Games

Roald Dahl Amazing But True Trivia Quiz
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Roald Dahl Whiz Banger Mental Maths Game
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The BFG Spelling Games
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Roald Dahl Splendiferous Spelling Games
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Biography


Boy

Born to Norwegian parents in 1916, Dahl was brought up in Llandaff in Wales. Dahl’s own father (who Dahl remembered as a 7ft giant) died of pneumonia in 1920, leaving him and his sisters to be brought up by their mother Sofie. Dahl (known simply as ‘boy’ to his mother) wrote to Sofie throughout his life, testing out his writing talents in letters that are full of all the humour and natural storytelling talent he would come to show in his later novels. Dahl’s mother lovingly preserved every one of his letters, wrapped in bundles with green tape. The letters have been anthologised in the recently published collection Love from Boy.

Although he would later describe himself to the biographer Donald Sturrock as, "very English . . . very English indeed", Norwegian was Dahl’s first language and he and his sisters spent their summers with their mother in Norway. Here Dahl encountered Norwegian myths and legends and the echoes of those stories of trolls, giants and witches can be seen in his own fantastical creations.

Dahl was a famously mischievous boy –like many of the young characters in his books. Many of his childhood haunts and adventures made their way into his future writing, including his local sweetshop, run by the "mean and loathsome" Mrs Pratchett, where Dahl and his school-friends famously put a mouse in the gobstopper jar. This story and many like them appear in his memoirs, Boy and Going Solo.


From spy to storyteller

Dahl wasn’t a particularly keen scholar but he was a voracious reader and he particularly loved Dickens, Kipling and the adventure stories of Rider Haggard as well as English poetry and nonsense rhyme (in later life, appearing on BBC R4’s Desert Island Discs, Dahl chose to take an anthology of English verse as his book choice). Dahl’s love of creating new words and inventively descriptive names like the terrifying Miss Trunchbull, Bruce Bogtrotter or Augustus Gloop have their origins in Dickens’s own Wackford Squeers or Canon Crisparkle.

Dahl trained as an airline pilot in 1939 as war broke out, becoming a pilot officer and flying fighter aircraft. He was nearly killed in a crash in 1940 but survived and went on to serve as an intelligence officer for MI6 where he met Ian Flemming. It was his wartime years which inspired his first story ‘A Piece of Cake’ published in 1942, this was followed by a collection of stories, Over to You, published in 1946.


Later life

Over the next four decades Dahl went on to write prolifically for adults and children, including dark, macabre tales for adults, poetry, biography and writing for television - notably adapting the screenplay of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (adding in the memorably terrifying villain, The Child Catcher). He didn’t start writing for children until he was in his forties, when one of his own children’s bedtime stories became James and the Giant Peach, published in 1961.

Famously tall, reaching 6ft 6inches in adulthood, Dahl wrote his books in a shed at the bottom of his garden which he had to crouch to enter. He wrote in what he described as his “nest”, sitting in his mother’s old armchair, his feet on a battered old trunk with a supply of ready-sharpened pencils at his elbow.

Dahl was married twice and has five children, including the author Tessa and the screenwriter Lucy. His granddaughter Sophie (who inspired the character of Sophie in The BFG) described how he was a magical storyteller and an unsurprising choc-o-holic who was buried with all his favourite chocolate bars around him – “just to keep him going 'til he got to heaven.”