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Monday, 14 May, 2001, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Funding drive for Dahl museum
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl: Voted UK's top author in 2000
Roald Dahl's widow Felicity has launched an appeal to help pay for a museum in the author's name in Buckinghamshire.

Felicity Dahl has already pulled together 1m for the centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, but needs more, having failed in a bid to garner Lottery cash.

The centre is to be known as the Roald Dahl Museum and Literary Centre and will be home to the complete Roald Dahl archive, including early manuscripts and letters.


He was interested in so many fields, from invention to nature to gardening

Felicity Dahl
Mrs Dahl told BBC News Online that plans for the centre are already well under way - she has just appointed an archivist, curator and other staff.

She said that the centre would provide a unique insight into writer of such beloved books as The BFG, Danny The Champion of the World, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The Gremlins.

"I want to show something about the man behind the works," she says.

"He was interested in so many fields, from invention to nature to gardening and these archives are quite wonderful."

Inspiring

Fund-raising measures are still at the planning stage though Mrs Dahl has met with Tom Maschler, who was Roald Dahl's publisher and editor, to plan an initial appeal to the publishing world.

Roald Dahl died in 1990 at the age of 74 and his books have more than maintained their popularity.

Danny Champion of the World cover
The distinctive illustrations to Dahl's work are by Quentin Blake
More than one million copies of his books are sold in the UK every year.

Other plans for the centre are a writer in residence to encourage children to read and write and exhibitions based on Dahl's work.

Mrs Dahl feels that seeing how Dahl's works changed from the early drafts written in pencil to the final book will be particularly inspiring and she is anxious to get them to a wider audience.

"There are things about him I keep to myself and there's a lot you can't share, but his works belong to everybody," she said.

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See also:

22 Mar 01 | Reviews
Roald Dahl web worth it
10 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Roald Dahl voted UK's top author
11 Mar 99 | Education
The books children are reading
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