Matilda Wormwood


She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.



"She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village." - Matilda

Matilda Wormwood is the clever, brave, book-loving girl who gives her name to one of Roald Dahl's last published stories: Matilda.

So clever is Matilda that by the age of four, she has read all the children's books in her local library. By the time she begins school aged five she has graduated to Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling. What's more, she can multiply large numbers with no trouble and can compose and recite limericks with barely a breath. Her schoolteacher Miss Honey thinks she's a genius.

Unfortunately, her parents aren't so impressed. Mr and Mrs Wormwood completely fail to appreciate her incredible abilities - but luckily for Matilda, this also means they never fail to fall for her tricks...

Because as well as being very clever, Matilda is no stranger to a spot of mischief. From supergluing hats to hiding a parrot up a chimney, she makes her hapless parents pay for their indifference and stupidity in a number of subtle ways.

It's headmistress Miss Trunchbull she saves her greatest trick for, though...

Matilda ultimately uses her incredible powers to help Miss Honey, but in earlier drafts of the story she was actually a "wicked" girl who terrorised her parents and teachers. Roald soon realised this wasn't right, though, and the Matilda we all know and love first appeared in print in 1988.

Since its first publication, Matilda has been adapted into a cult 1996 film, with Mara Wilson playing Miss Wormwood. And in 2010, the Royal Shakespeare Company's musical adaptation of the book with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin opened at Stratford-upon-Avon. A phenomenal success, the musical went on to open in London's West End the following year, on Broadway in 2013, and is set to take Australia by storm in 2015.

As Matilda herself sings in the musical adaptation - "sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty."

About the story

I've always said to myself that if a little pocket calculator can do it why shouldn't I?

Matilda Wormwood 1


Children are not so serious as grown-ups and they love to laugh.

Matilda Wormwood 1


Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.

Matilda Wormwood 1


-Matilda onstage...-

-Matilda's book list-

Matilda Wormwood - "The Reader of Books," as she is introduced to us in the very first chapter - is an avid and enthusiastic reader. From Frances Hogdson Burnett's The Secret Garden ("It was full of mystery...") and C.S Lewis's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens' Great Expectations ("I loved it") - it is through stories that she travels the world.

Follow the link below for more of Matilda's top reads.

Matilda's book list

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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