The Roald Dahl Museum – Great Missenden: A Review

The Roald Dahl Museum is located in the village of Great Missenden in the beautiful Chilterns area not far from the outskirts of London. Dahl spent much of his life there and is buried in the local cemetery.

The Museum crams a lot into a relatively small space and has a quirky feel to it. The blurb on the website says it is aimed at 6-12 years olds; and whilst it is true that there are *a lot* of interactive displays, games etc for children to try; there was also plenty of interest to myself and my partner. Dahl was a great lover of chocolate and before you go into the section which tells you about his life, there is a huge Wonka Bar which smells of chocolate (makes you feel quite hungry). There is a life-size model of Dahl (a tall man) which you can measure yourself against and it explores his early life at public school, as a pilot etc and some fascinating facts about the man himself.

Of course it is his life as an author and his stories which most of the Museum is dedicated to. Quotes from his books are everywhere. You can see a replica of his workspace which was housed in a little shed in his garden, have a go at making up a Dahl-esque story, sit in a replica of his writing chair to see if inspiration hits and a whole plethora of other things. Comparisons are drawn between his stories and those things in the local area which are believed to have been his inspiration.

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Like every other Museum in the world, there is a shop and unsurprisingly said shop sells all of his books – along with a whole raft of other items which have those wonderful Quentin Blake drawings on them: calendars, school stationery sets, toys, mugs (I bought myself one). It’s almost worth going to the shop on it’s own and is like an Aladdin’s cave for any young fans of Dahl.

The local cemetery is a short walk from the Museum. Dahl has a simple headstone – but the thing that really chokes you up are the BFG footprints leading from the wooden memorial bench built around a tree, to Dahl’s headstone. It’s a poignant and beautiful reminder of just how much of a loss this man was to children’s literature.

 

Big thanks to Reading Addicts regular and prolific reviewer Debbie McCarthy who visited the Roald Dahl museum and provided this piece and images.

Library Way In New York City

By | Literary Places, Quotations | No Comments
While they walk to New York Public Library on East 41st Street in New York City, pedestrians are treated to literary-themed images inset along the sidewalk. The 96 illustrated bronze plaques depict various quotes from favourite authors and other notable figures.

Gregg LeFevre designed 48 unique images, duplicated to make 96 plaques, to be placed along both sides of the street so everyone has a chance to see them.

Wall Street Journal: “The quotes were selected during the 1990s by a panel that included representatives from the library; the Grand Central Partnership, which manages the Grand Central Business Improvement District; and the New Yorker magazine.”

Out of the 48 designs we chose 21 to show you here. Enjoy!

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London’s Tiniest Library Opens as Part of the London Design Festival

By | Culture, Literary Events, Literary Places, News | One Comment
The London Design Festival is taking over the capital for the 15th year right now and that means weird and wonderful art installations popping up all over the city. From playcastles to light shows, design trails and everything in between what caught out eye is the micro library on London’s South Bank.

This month London’s South Bank will be host to a micro-cabin of literature; the smallest library in the capital, measuring a rather tiny 3.5 square metres. The library will be home to books telling the story of London’s rich history covering everything from ancient tomes to modern day classics that reflect the city and its history.

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