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1001 The BFG
Added on 08th August 2020

Author Roald Dahl
First published 1982
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London, UK

The popular story of Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant.

Story

One sleepless night, Sophie catches sight of a giant man outside the orphanage window. Seeing Sophie, the giant plucks her from her bed and carries her off to his cave. However, Sophie soon learns that it is not the BFG but his nasty neighbours she ought to be afraid of. Together, Sophie and the BFG hatch a plan to rid the world of these man-eating monsters.

Why we chose it

The BFG is one of the most popular stories with visitors to the museum, coming fourth in a list of favourite stories compiled from responses to questions asked in our Ever After exhibition. Both Sophie and the BFG himself were named as favourite characters.

Where it came from

The BFG first appeared in Danny the Champion of the World (1975) in a bedtime story told by Danny’s father. Roald Dahl (1916-1990), British author, poet, inventor and fighter pilot, based the character on his builder and friend Walter “Wal” Saunders. Wal was 6ft 5, could waggle his ears, and had a habit of “getting his words wrong”, inspiring the giant’s special language ‘Gobblefunk’.

Where it went next

The BFG went on to win numerous awards and Dahl admitted that The BFG was probably his favourite of all his stories. Today, more than 1 million copies are sold globally every year. An animated adaptation was produced for ITV in 1989 and a live-action adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg, was recently released.

Associated stories

Other Roald Dahl classics include James and the Giant Peach (1961), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970), and Matilda (1988).

Added on 08th August 2020

Author Roald Dahl
First published 1982
Publisher Jonathan Cape, London, UK