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1001 Matilda
Added on 08th August 2020

Author Roald Dahl
First published 1958
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London, UK

The story of Matilda Wormwood, an avid reader who discovers she has an extraordinary gift.

Story

Matilda Wormwood is a bookworm, bullied by her stupid parents and horrible headmistress Miss Trunchbull. However, with the help of her teacher Miss Honey, Matilda learns her brain can do a lot more than simply read. Can Matilda use her gift to end Trunchbull’s tyranny?

Why we chose it

Matilda is one of the most popular heroines in children’s literature. The book is a firm favourite with Story Museum visitors.

Where it came from

British writer, inventor, and spy, Roald Dahl (1916-1990), wanted to write a story about his love of books. Matilda’s library sanctuary was based on the library in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, where Dahl lived. Many of the characters in the story were based on his neighbours or people he knew as a child.

Where it went next

Matilda broke sales records, selling over half a million copies in six months. The book won numerous awards and was adapted as a feature film, directed by Danny DeVito, in 1996. Matilda the Musical opened in 2010 and has gone on to win multiple Olivier Awards in the UK and Tony Awards in the US. Netflix is also developing an animated series of the book.

Associated stories

Dahl’s short story, The Magic Finger (1964), may have inspired Matilda’s supernatural skills. Other books by the author include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970), and The BFG (1982).

Added on 08th August 2020

Author Roald Dahl
First published 1958
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London, UK