How many books did Roald Dahl write?
Happy Birthday to Roald Dahl. The author and illustrator was born in South Wales on September 13, 1916. His stories an illustrations captured attention throughout the 20th century and continue to captivate today.
Dahl’s childhood was filled with tragedy. His father and sister died when Dahl was three, and he was later brutally abused at his boarding school. After high school, he traveled widely, joining an expedition to Newfoundland and later working in Tanzania. In World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. He flew missions in Libya, Greece, and Syria, and was shot down in the Libyan desert, suffering serious injuries. (He saved a piece of his femur, removed in an operation after the accident, and later used it as a paperweight in his office.)
After he recovered, Dahl was sent to Washington, D.C., as an attaché. There, the writer C.S. Forester suggested he write about his war experiences, and 10 days later Dahl had his first publication, in the Saturday Evening Post.
During his career, Roald Dahl wrote a wide range of material, from short stories for adults to film screenplays to his well-known children's books. His first book was The Gremlins, written for Disney and published in 1943, and the story was later made into a Disney film. He wrote several popular adult books, including Someone Like You (1953) and Kiss Kiss (1959), and began writing stories for his own four children in 1960. His first children's novel was James and the Giant Peach, published in 1963. James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory became bestsellers. He also wrote the screenplay for Charlie (with a title change-the movie was called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and a James Bond film, You Only Live Twice (1967).
Dahl did most of his writing on the family farm, writing two hours every morning, two hours every afternoon, and tending to the animals in between. He was divorced from his wife, Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, in 1983, and remarried. He died in 1990 at age 74.
Below is the full list of all his works, broken down by category and listed in order of publication. In total, there are 39 works listed here that were created by Roald Dahl directly, and an additional seven anthologies and further collected writings inspired by his work.
For more information on the individual works, please visit the specific story pages linked to below.
Books, stories, curated collections, and other published works:
The Gremlins (1943)
Over To You (1946)
Some Time Never (1948)
Someone Like You (1953)
Kiss Kiss (1960)
James and the Giant Peach (1961)
The Magic Finger (1966)
Fantastic Mr Fox (1968)
Switch Bitch (1974)
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (1977)
The Enormous Crocodile (1978)
My Uncle Oswald (1979)
The Twits (1980)
George's Marvellous Medicine (1981)
Revolting Rhymes (1982)
The BFG (1982)
Dirty Beasts (1983)
The Witches (1983)
Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories (1983)
Boy: Tales of Childhood (1984)
Two Fables (1985)
Going Solo (1986)
Rhyme Stew (1989)
Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life (1989)
Esio Trot (1990)
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke (1991)
The Minpins (1991)
My Year (1991)
Play scripts and film screenplays
The Honeys (stage play, 1955)
You Only Live Twice (film screenplay, 1967)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (co-wrote film screenplay, 1968)
The Night Digger (film screenplay, 1971)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (co-wrote film screenplay, 1971)
Anthologies and collections co-written by Ronald Dahl or inspired by his writings
The Roald Dahl Cookbook (1991)
Revolting Recipes (1994)
The Roald Dahl Treasury (1997)
Even More Revolting Recipes (2001)
Songs and Verse (2005)
More About Boy (2008)
Completely Revolting Recipes (2009)