Many folks alerted me to the recent apology posted on the official Roald Dahl website and seemed surprised to learn about this aspect of the author. It’s never really been a secret, and I suspect it’s probably the reason he was never offered the knighthood he wanted. (Similarly, The Guardian reported the Royal Mint cancelled plans to honour the 100th year since his birth with a commemorative coin because of his anti-Semitic remarks.) Since I started this fan site back in 1996, I’ve received a number of emails from students and teachers upset when they learned of some of Dahl’s problematic opinions. I even had an item on my FAQ page about it. While I appreciate that the family made a statement, it’s very brief and rather vague. I’m also unclear what prompted them to finally apologise so many years after his death.
If you are interested in reading more about the unvarnished Dahl – both the good and the bad – you should check out Jeremy Treglown’s Roald Dahl: A Biography (or read these reviews of the book which mention a bit of it).