Roald Dahl bibliography

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Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl.jpg
Dahl in 1954
Novels 19
Collections 13
Poems 3
Scripts 12
Books edited 1
Non-fiction 9
References and footnotes

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was a British author and scriptwriter, [1] and "the most popular writer of children's books since Enid Blyton", according to Philip Howard, the literary editor of The Times . [2] He was raised by his Norwegian mother, who took him on annual trips to Norway, where she told him the stories of trolls and witches present in the dark Scandinavian fables. Dahl was influenced by the stories, and returned to many of the themes in his children's books. [3] His mother also nurtured a passion in the young Dahl for reading and literature. [4]


During the Second World War Dahl was a pilot in the Royal Air Force (RAF) until he crashed in the Libyan desert; the subsequent injuries left him unfit to fly. He was posted to Washington as an assistant air attaché, ostensibly a diplomatic post, but which also included espionage and propaganda work. [5] In 1942 the writer C. S. Forester asked him to provide details of his experiences in North Africa which Forester hoped to use in an article in The Saturday Evening Post . Instead of the notes which Forester expected, Dahl sent a finished story for which he was paid $900. The work led to The Gremlins , a serialised story in Cosmopolitan about a mischievous and fictional RAF creature, the gremlin; the work was published as Dahl's first novel in 1943. [6] Dahl continued to write short stories, although these were all aimed at the adult market. They were sold to magazines and newspapers, and were later compiled into collections, the first of which was published in 1946. [7] Dahl began to make up bedtime stories for the children, and these formed the basis of several of his stories. [8] [9] His first children's novel, James and the Giant Peach , was published in 1961, [10] which was followed, along with others, by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Fantastic Mr Fox (1970), Danny, the Champion of the World (1975), The BFG (1982) and Matilda in 1988. [11]

Dahl's first script was for a stage work, The Honeys , which appeared on Broadway in 1955. He followed this with a television script, "Lamb to the Slaughter", for the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series. He also co-wrote screenplays for film, including for You Only Live Twice (1967) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). [12] [13] In 1982 Dahl published the first of three editions of poems—all aimed at children. The following year he edited a book of ghost stories. [14] He also wrote several works of non-fiction, including three autobiographies, a cookery book, a safety leaflet for the British railways and a book on measles, which was about the death of his daughter Olivia from measles encephalitis. [14] [15]

As at 2019, Dahl's works have been translated into 63 languages and have sold more than 200 million books worldwide. [16] [17] His awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the British Book Awards' Children's Author of the Year in 1990. In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". [18] He has been referred to by The Independent as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century". [19] On his death in 1990, Howard considered him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation". [2]


Dahl in 1982 Roald Dahl (1982).jpg
Dahl in 1982
Dahl's novels
Title [14] [15] [20] [21] [22] Year of first
First edition publisherScope
The Gremlins 1943 Random House, New YorkChildren
Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen [lower-alpha 1] 1948 Charles Scribner's Sons, New YorkAdult
James and the Giant Peach 1961 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkChildren
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1964 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkChildren
The Magic Finger 1966 Harper & Row, New YorkChildren
Fantastic Mr Fox 1970 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkChildren
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator 1972 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkChildren
Danny, the Champion of the World 1975 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkChildren
The Enormous Crocodile 1978 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkChildren
My Uncle Oswald 1979Michael Joseph, LondonAdult
The Twits 1980 Jonathan Cape, LondonChildren
George's Marvellous Medicine 1981 Jonathan Cape, LondonChildren
The BFG 1982 Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New YorkChildren
The Witches 1983 Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New YorkChildren
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me 1985 Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New YorkChildren
Matilda 1988 Viking Kestrel, New YorkChildren
Esio Trot 1990 Jonathan Cape, LondonChildren
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke 1991Century, LondonChildren
The Minpins 1991 Jonathan Cape, LondonChildren

Short story collections

Dahl with his first wife Patricia Neal in 1954 Patricia Neal und Roald Dahl.jpg
Dahl with his first wife Patricia Neal in 1954
Dahl's short story collections
Title [14] [21] [22] [24] Year of first publicationFirst edition publisherScope
Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying 1946 Reynal & Hitchcock, New YorkAdult
Someone Like You 1953 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkAdult
Kiss Kiss 1960 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkAdult
Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl [lower-alpha 2] 1969Michael Joseph, LondonAdult
Switch Bitch 1974 Alfred A. Knopf, New YorkAdult
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More 1977 Jonathan Cape, LondonAdult
The Best of Roald Dahl 1978 Vintage Books, New YorkAdult
Tales of the Unexpected 1979Michael Joseph, LondonAdult
More Tales of the Unexpected 1980Michael Joseph, LondonAdult
A Roald Dahl Selection: Nine Short Stories1980Longmans, LondonAdult
Two Fables 1986 Viking Press, LondonAdult
Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl 1989Michael Joseph, LondonAdult
The Roald Dahl Treasury 1997 Jonathan Cape, LondonChildren


Many of Dahl's works were used as the basis for films or television programmes. The following are where he is credited as the writer of the performed script. [9] [26]

Dahl's scripts
Title [9] [12] [13] [26] Year of first
publication or production
First edition publisher,
where relevant
The Honeys 1955Stage workProduced at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents : "Lamb to the Slaughter"1958Television script
Way Out : "William and Mary"1961Television scriptAlso introduced by Dahl on CBS
You Only Live Twice 1967Film scriptWith Jack Bloom
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1968Film scriptWith Ken Hughes
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 1971Film script
The Night Digger 1971Film script
The BFG: Plays for Children1976 Puffin Books, LondonStage work
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A Play1976 Puffin Books, LondonStage work
James and the Giant Peach: A Play1982 Puffin Books, LondonStage work
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator: A Play1984 Allen & Unwin, LondonStage work
Fantastic Mr Fox: A Play1987 Puffin Books, LondonStage work


Dahl's poetry
Title [9] [12] Year of first
First edition publisher
(All London)
Revolting Rhymes 1982 Jonathan Cape
Dirty Beasts 1984 Farrar, Strauss and Giroux
Rhyme Stew 1989 Jonathan Cape

Books edited

Dahl's work as an editor
Title [14] Year of first
First edition publisherDescriptionNotes
Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories 1983 Jonathan Cape, LondonAdult; short story collectionEditor only


Dahl's works of non-fiction
Title [14] [15] [9] Year of first
First edition publisherScopeNotes
Boy: Tales of Childhood 1984 Jonathan Cape, LondonAutobiography
Going Solo 1986 Jonathan Cape, LondonAutobiography
Measles, a Dangerous Illness1988Sandwell Health AuthorityMedical/AutobiographicalAbout the death of his daughter Olivia from measles encephalitis
Memories with Food at Gipsy House 1991 Viking Press, LondonCook bookWith Felicity Dahl; reissued in softcover in 1996 as Roald Dahl's Cookbook
Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety 1991 British Railways Board, LondonSafety booklet
The Dahl Diary 19921991 Puffin Books, LondonDiary
My Year 1993 Jonathan Cape, LondonAutobiography
The Roald Dahl Diary 19971996 Puffin Books, LondonDiary
The Mildenhall Treasure 1999 Jonathan Cape, LondonHistoryFirst published in book form in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More before release in 1999 as a single title edition

Notes and references


  1. Also published as Some Time Never: A Fable for Supermen. [23]
  2. Comprises Someone Like You and Kiss Kiss . [25]

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  1. "Obituary: Roald Dahl". The Times. 24 November 1990. p. 14.
  2. 1 2 Howard, Philip (24 November 1990). "Death silences Pied Piper of the macabre". The Times. p. 1.
  3. Sturrock 2010, pp. 60–62.
  4. Howard 2011.
  5. Conant 2008, p. xvii.
  6. Dalby 1994, pp. 5–6.
  7. Walker 2004, pp. 40–41.
  8. Sturrock 2010, pp. 350–51.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "Roald Dahl". Contemporary Authors . Gale . Retrieved 5 February 2016.(subscription required)
  10. Walker 2002, p. 12.
  11. Book and Magazine Collector 2005, pp. 20–27.
  12. 1 2 3 Walker 2002, p. 22–23.
  13. 1 2 "Roald Dahl". American Film Institute . Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Roald Dahl, Published works" (PDF). Roald Dahl Museum . Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  15. 1 2 3 Sturrock 2010, pp. 627–28.
  16. "Roald Dahl centenary: 'Tremendous things' promised for 2016". BBC. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  17. "Oxford University Press to capture Roald Dahl's naughtiest language for the first time: World Book Day!". Cardiff Times. 7 March 2019.
  18. "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". The Times. 5 January 2008. p. 11 (Section 3).
  19. "Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to make up stories ..." The Independent. 12 December 2010.
  20. Book and Magazine Collector 2005, pp. 17–30.
  21. 1 2 Grigsby 1994, p. 40.
  22. 1 2 Carrick 2002, pp. 37–38.
  23. Book and Magazine Collector 2005, p. 18.
  24. Dalby 1994, p. 15.
  25. Book and Magazine Collector 2005, p. 22.
  26. 1 2 "Roald Dahl". British Film Institute . Retrieved 13 February 2016.