About the Author
According to the official Roald Dahl website, the author was born of Norwegian parents on September 13, 1916 in Llandaff, Wales. This would explain why so many of his stories take place in England - as does the story of Matilda.
The author is also quoted as saying that he remembers his mother as "always on your side, whatever you'd done," and that knowing this gave him, "the most tremendous feeling of security." This background knowledge is helpful in understanding the nature of the relationship between this story's main character, young Matilda, and her unloving, uninvolved parents as part of the fantasy. Quite unlike Dahl's own childhood, Matilda's family is ready to believe everything negative that is said about her. Consequently, she feels as if she doesn't really belong to or fit in with her family.
As a young boy, Dahl enjoyed listening to his mother tell stories involving the mythological creatures of his Scandinavian heritage and of great adventures. He also enjoyed reading the work of Dickens, which may explain many of the themes surrounding his stories as well as his occasional reference to many of Dickens' novels in Matilda. (pp. 15-18)
The story Matilda broke the sales records for children's fictional literature in the UK, with over half a million paperbacks sold there in just 6 months time.
Known works, other than Matilda, by Roald Dahl include James and the Giant Peach (1961), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), The Enormous Crocodile (1978) and The BFG (1982).
Roald Dahl died November 23, 1990 at the age of 74.