Patrick Tillery's letter from Roald Dahl

In 1980, then-student Patrick Tillery wrote to his favourite writer - Roald Dahl. A few weeks later, he received his reply.

As a third-grade student in 1978 - 79, Patrick Tillery was "mesmerised" when the school librarian read James and the Giant Peach to his class in Bremerton, WA (USA).

A year later, when he was in fourth grade, Patrick's teacher asked her students to write a letter to their favourite author. He chose to write to Roald Dahl.

As Patrick says, "After what seemed like years later (but was likely only a matter of weeks), I received a small air mail postcard from Gipsy House, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England, dated 15th January, 1980, with a brief message from Roald Dahl.

I've kept the postcard in a very worn, well-loved hardcover copy of James and the Giant Peach for 34 years."

Roald Dahl's letter to student Patrick Tillery (name spelled incorrectly)
  • Roald Dahl's letter to student Patrick Tillery (name spelled incorrectly)
  • Roald Dahl's letter to student Patrick Tillery (name spelled incorrectly)

The letter was addressed to Patrick (although his surname is spelled incorrectly on the envelope) and reads,

"Dear Patrick,

Thank you so much for your letter. I liked getting it. I wish I could send you a long one - but there are such a lot of letters to be answered, and there is a new book to be written, and a million other things to be done, so please forgive me.

With love from,
Roald Dahl."

The illustration shown is Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, drawn by Joseph Schindelman. The book Roald Dahl was working on at the time was very likely to have been The Twits.

Received a letter from Roald Dahl?