In his new biography, Matthew Dennison unearths a rule-breaking, generous, self-aware genius
‘I’m a perfectly ordinary fellow, except that I happen to be very tall,’ Roald Dahl told a group of children in 1975. He was indeed large. At his public school, Repton, Dahl was unusual in the early 1930s in being six foot five by his mid-teens. It was one reason – alongside his broken voice – that he was chosen for the hero’s part in a class reading of Romeo and Juliet. His size became central to Dahl’s identity. Repeatedly – and for better, as well as worse – his sense of his own bigness coloured his engagement with the world, shaped his expectations, forged a feeling of entitlement and even vainglory, and contributed to his considerable glamour as a young man and the imaginative bravado of his writing for children. ...
I’m afraid this isn’t one of our six free articles available in full, which are set out in the first two rows of the ‘Magazine’ page.
Please click here to find them.