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-1990

Esio Trot

Saying things backwards can make magic happen. Just ask Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver! Esio Trot is the story of a very shy man and a very kind woman, and a small tortoise called Alfie who brings them together.

Esio Trot is a story about shy Mr Hoppy and his love for his neighbour, Mrs Silver. It was one of Roald Dahl's last stories and is dedicated to two of his grandchildren, Clover and Luke.

In the story Mrs Silver has a tortoise called Alfie who she loves very much. By 1990, when Esio Trot was published, it was no longer possible to buy a tortoise in a local pet-shop due to a law that had been passed in order to protect the tortoises. Roald explained all this in the introduction to the story, saying: "The things you are going to read about in this story all happened in the days when anyone could go out and buy a nice little tortoise from a pet-shop."

Esio Trot was a favourite of Roald's principal illustrator Quentin Blake and in 2013 a new audio version of the story was released - with Quentin as the narrator.

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-1991

The Vicar of Nibbleswicke

The Reverend Robert Lee, Vicar of Nibbleswicke and a charming and God-fearing man, causes utter confusion among his devout parishioners...

The Vicar of Nibbleswicke tells the tale of Robert Lee, who, having suffered with severe dyslexia as a boy, successfully overcame his problems with the help of The Dyslexia Institute. But soon after arriving in Nibbleswicke as the town's new reverend, he develops a very unusual condition the local doctor calls Back-to-Front Dyslexia.

Written in the last years of his life in aid of The Dyslexia Institute, The Vicar of Nibbleswicke was published in 1991, shortly after Roald's death in November 1990. As his principal illustrator Quentin Blake reveals in a footnote published at the end of the story, Roald auctioned all rights to The Vicar of Nibbleswicke to benefit The Dyslexia Institute. Quentin says: "It's a privilege to be associated, among our many collaborations, with Roald in this book; a landmark of both his concern for people and his passionate belief in the importance of reading." 

Today, these twin concerns continue to inspire the work of the two Roald Dahl charities: Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity, which helps make life better for seriously ill children, and The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Roald's home-town of Great Missenden, where reading and literature are celebrated.

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-1991

The Minpins

When Little Billy sneaks into the Forest of Sin he meets thousands of tiny surprises: the Minpins. His new friends live in miniature houses inside hollow trees. But every one is terrified of a Fearsome Beast - and if Billy wants to go home he must defeat it once and for all!

The Minpins was Roald Dahl's last children's book. Like many of his other stories, it was partially inspired by the countryside around where he lived. The wood at the top of the field behind Roald's house was even known as the Minpin forest. It also has a connection to another of his books - Little Billy's mother tells him that the Forest of Sin is home to creatures including Vermicious Knids, which are the alien-like creatures that also appear in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

The Minpins was published in 1991, not long after Roald's death in November 1990. It was illustrated by Patrick Benson. The last line of the story is one of the most-repeated Roald Dahl quotes...

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-1991

Roald Dahl’s Guide to Railway Safety

With illustrations by Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety is a guide written for young people to help them use the railways safely.

Published in 1991 by the British Railways Board, Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety is a short but funny booklet that was handed out to students in UK primary schools. It is a list of Do's and Don'ts for young people on how to stay safe on the railways - but as Roald Dahl says at the beginning: "I have a VERY DIFFICULT job here. Young people are fed up with being told by grown-ups WHAT TO DO and WHAT NOT TO DO. They get that all through their young lives."

Luckily for the readers of this guide, Roald's very important Do's and Don'ts are served with lots of amusing little extras: stories from Roald's own life, and some funny words from him on what it is like to be a child. 

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-1991

The Roald Dahl Cookbook

Roald Dahl's Cookbook, liberally spiced with lively anecdotes, recreates the many wonderful meals that have been enjoyed by the Dahl family and their friends around the farmhouse table at Gipsy House.

Originally published in 1991 as Memories with Food at Gipsy HouseRoald Dahl's Cookbook was written during the last year of Roald's life. He and his wife, Felicity "Liccy" Dahl, put the book together. It includes hundreds of recipes created by Liccy, Roald, their family and friends, and several cooks who worked with the Dahl family over the years.

But Roald Dahl's Cookbook is not just a recipe book. It is a real insight into the Dahl's family life with photos, illustrations by Quentin Blake, and, of course, wonderful stories. There's Roald's long chapter on chocolate, including a potted history of what he called the "seven glorious years" of chocolate revolution. There's a tribute to his mother, Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg. And there are tales told by Roald's wife and his children that give us just a little taste of what life in the Dahl family was like.

After his death Liccy Dahl set up the Roald Dahl Foundation, now known as Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity, in Roald's memory. All the royalties from Roald Dahl's Cookbook go to the charity, which works to make life better for seriously ill children.

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-1991

My Year

Roald Dahl had an abiding love for and interest in nature. He kept notes about the habbits of butterflies and frogs, the colour and songs of birds, and the different flowers, plants and berries that blossomed in the countryside around his Buckinghamshire home throughout the year.

In the last year of his life he worked on a diary. What was originally intended to be a few lines turned into a memorable account of the passing year. In My Year, Roald takes us on a month-by-month journey mixing up the past and the present: from childhood tales to tips on how to produce a first-class conker, interwoven with observations about the changing seasons.

My Year was first published in 1991 as The Roald Dahl Diary, shortly after Roald's death in November 1990.

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-1997

The Roald Dahl Treasury

The Roald Dahl Treasury brings together some of the most dazzling moments in the work of this extraordinary writer...

Published in 1997, The Road Dahl Treasury is a bumper book that includes complete Roald Dahl stories, extracts from his longer fiction, rhymes, memoirs, letters and even some previously unpublished poetry. A host of his best-loved characters are here, from the Enormous Crocodile to Willy Wonka, from the Minpins to the Twits, from James Henry Trotter to Matilda Wormwood.

The Roald Dahl Treasury features a large number of pictures by Quentin Blake, Roald's principal illustrator. Many of them were drawn especially for this collection. There are also drawings from a few other selected artists: Patrick Benson, Raymond Briggs, Babette Cole, Bert Kitchen, Lane Smith, Posy Simmonds, Ralph Steadman, Fritz Wegner and Christopher Wormell.

There are four themed sections in the The Roald Dahl Treasury. They are called:

  • Animals
  • Magic
  • Family, Friends and Foes
  • Matters of Importance

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