Roald Dahl Statistics

Roald Dahl Statistics

Roald Dahl’s sales statistics

  • Roald Dahl’s bestselling books have sold more than 250 million copies
  • James and the Giant Peach has sold more than 12 million copies around the world
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has sold more than 13 million copies
  • Matilda has sold more than 17 million copies
  • Over the last few years, sales of Matilda have surpassed the combined sales of the rest of Dahl’s works
  • The BFG has sold more than 37 million copies
  • In 2021, Dahl earned more money through his works than any other dead celebrity — beating Prince, Michael Jackson, Charles Schulz and Dr. Seuss
  • Movie adaptations of Roald Dahl’s books have made more than $750 million at the box office
  • In 2021, Netflix acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) for more than £500 million

How many books did Roald Dahl write?

  • Dahl’s total works consist of 43 books
  • Roald Dahl has written a total of 19 novels
  • He has also published 13 collections of short stories
  • Dahl released 3 collections of poems in his lifetime
  • 8 non-fiction books are attributed to Roald Dahl but only 2 were published before his death
  • The Gremlins was the first book that Roald Dahl wrote. It was published in 1943
  • Esio Trot was the last book that Roald Dahl published before his death in 1990
  • His final novel was The Minpins, which was published after his death

What books did Roald Dahl write?

Roald Dahl’s novels

TitlePublishedPage CountAudiobook Length
The Gremlins194356
Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen1948244
James and the Giant Peach19611602 hrs and 49 mins
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory19641923 hrs and 17 mins
The Magic Finger19669626 mins
Fantastic Mr Fox1970961 hr and 15 mins
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator19721593 hrs and 15 mins
Danny, the Champion of the World19752244 hrs and 27 mins
The Enormous Crocodile19783223 mins
My Uncle Oswald19792636 hrs and 34 mins
The Twits198011257 mins
George’s Marvellous Medicine1981961 hr and 20 mins
The BFG1982804 hrs and 24 mins
The Witches19832243 hrs and 45 mins
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me19859645 mins
Matilda19882324 hrs and 18 mins
Esio Trot19909633 mins
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke1991362 hrs and 59 mins
The Minpins199111247 mins

Collections of short stories

Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying1946
Someone Like You1953
Kiss Kiss1960
Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl1969
Switch Bitch1974
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More1977
The Best of Roald Dahl1978
Tales of the Unexpected1979
More Tales of the Unexpected1980
A Roald Dahl Selection: Nine Short Stories1980
Two Fables1986
Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl1989
The Roald Dahl Treasury1997

Collections of poems

Revolting Rhymes1982
Dirty Beasts1983
Rhyme Stew1989

Non-fiction books

TitlePublishedTypePage count
Boy: Tales of Childhood1984Autobiography192
Going Solo1986Autobiography210
Memories with Food at Gipsy House1991Cook book240
Roald Dahl’s Guide to Railway Safety1991Safety booklet24
The Dahl Diary 19921991Diary208
My Year1993Autobiography64
The Roald Dahl Diary 19971996Diary208
The Mildenhall Treasure1999History80

What are Roald Dahl’s bestselling books?

Roald Dahl’s 10 best selling books are:

  1. The BFG
  2. Matilda
  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  4. James and the Giant Peach
  5. George’s Marvellous Medicine
  6. The Witches
  7. Danny the Champion of the World
  8. Fantastic Mr Fox
  9. The Magic Finger
  10. The Twits

Who was Roald Dahl?

Early life and school

  • Roald Dahl was born in Wales on the 13th of September, 1916
  • His parents were well-off Norwegians who immigrated to the UK
  • Dahl spoke Norwegian at home with his parents and it was his first language
  • Dahl attended a number of boarding schools where teachers and pupils doled out cruel punishments that shaped his attitude throughout his life
  • One of these schools was near the Cadbury chocolate factory. The schoolchildren were sent samples to try – this time inspired his later work on Charlie and the chocolate factory.

First job and WWII

  • As an adult, Roald Dahl measured 6ft 6in tall or 1.98m
  • After school, Dahl skipped college and joined an oil company
  • He spent was sent to East Africa in 1936 and spent time working in Kenya and Tanzania
  • During this time Dahl came across what was he perceived as exotic wildlife that went on to inspire some of his work
  • In 1939, Dahl joind the RAF at the outbreak of World War II
  • He did his flight training in Kenya and Iraq
  • In 1940, Dahl crashed his plane in the desert when attempting an emergency landing and fractured his skull amongst other injuries
  • In 1941, Dahl was declared fit to resume flying duties again and was involved in aerial combat operations shooting down a number of enemy planes
  • He eventually began to have blackouts and was once again declared unfit to fly
  • During his time as a pilot he shot down at least 5 enemy planes which earned him the honour of being regarded as a flying ace 
  • In 1942, Dahl was appointed assistant air attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, DC
  • In his time in Washington, Dahl worked with James Bond author Ian Fleming as part of his role in the British embassy

Family life

  • Dahl married his first wife in 1953 – an American actress named Patricia Neal
  • Dahl and Neal had five children together
  • In 1983, Dahl and Neal divorced
  • Dahl went on to get married again to Felicity d’Abreu Crosland with whom he had been having an affair for the last 11 years of his marriage to Patiricia Neal


  • Dahl was asked to provide notes on his war experiences for a propaganda piece in a newspaper. Instead of notes, he wrote the entire story himself and it was published exactly as he submitted it other than a change in the headline
  • Dahl’s books are generally written from the perspective of a child and have an adult as the baddy


  • Roald Dahl died at the age of 74 in 1990
  • He had a rare blood cancer
  • He is buried in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire where he had lived since 1954

What awards did Roald Dahl win?

  • Roald Dahl has won 3 Edgar Allan Poe Awards from the Mystery Writers of America
  • In 1983, Dahl was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the World Fantasy Awards for his work on Charlie and the Chocolate and James and the Giant Peach
  • In 1990, he was named the Children’s Author of the Year at the British Book Awards
  • In 1998, Matilda was named the Nation’s Favorite Children’s book in the UK by a BBC poll

Roald Dahl TV and movie adaptations

  • 17 movies have been made based upon the works of Roald Dahl
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, released in 2005 and starring Johnny Depp, made $475 million at the box office worldwide
  • The BFG released in 2016 made $195 million at the box office
  • Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for James Bond movie You Only Live Twice
  • He also wrote the screenplay for another movie based off a Fleming book – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
36 Hours1965
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory1971
The BFG1989
Breaking Point1989
Danny, the Champion of the World1989
The Witches1990
Four Rooms1995
James and the Giant Peach1996
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory2005
Fantastic Mr. Fox2009
Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot2015
The BFG2016
Revolting Rhymes2016
Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory2017
The Witches2020
Matilda the Musical2022