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.

(tap image 1 to launch slider gallery)

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.

Check out the Museum of Tiny Books

By | Literary Places | No Comments
As much as we love physical books, we would agree that they can take up a lot of space. One of the perks of E-readers is that they allow you to store hundreds of books in one light weight device. What if we were able to keep physical books, but have them take up far less space? What if we just shrunk them down to the point where you need a microscope to read them? That would certainly create a lot more shelf space.
Read More

Literary Laugharne: From 1172 to Dylan Thomas

By | Authors, Literary Places, Poetry | No Comments
Don’t tell everyone, but last week I sneaked off on a little holiday down the coast and while I was there I went to spend a day in Laugharne. The small town is best known for being home to Dylan Thomas but less well known is its connection to Richard Hughes (A High Wind in Jamaica).

Laugharne is steeped in history, and was well before Thomas decided to reside there. It has a castle that dates back to the 1100s, laid siege by Cromwell in the 1600s but still standing in ruinous form today. The town also contains many fine examples of Georgian townhouses and is home to the Laugharne Corporation, the last surviving medieval corporation in the UK.

It is however, best known for being the home of Dylan Thomas and the town is scattered with landmarks connected to the author, from the boathouse, to his writing shed, the castle gazebo where he and Richard Hughes wrote together, the Dylan Thomas birthday walk, inspired by Poem in October, and his final resting place.
Read More

The perfect book lovers job is in the Maldives!

By | Literary Places, News | No Comments
Book lovers rejoice- your perfect job is here!

Do you long for endless days of sunshine, the sand between your toes, and enough books to satisfy your reading addiction? Does your perfect working day involve walking barefoot in soft, white sand with a book in your hand?

A luxury eco resort in the Maldives are looking for a passionate bibliophile who can blog about their time on the resort as the resident castaway bookseller. The pay is pittance but when the benefits are included it seems like a dream job. You may not walk away at the end with cash saved but you will have experienced an absolute dream come true for many reading addicts.

If this sounds up your sandy street then Soneva Fushi  have a job for you…

Read More

Mills & Boon to Publish Stories Set in UK’s Most Romantic Locations

By | Literary Places, New Releases, News | No Comments
When I was growing up my mother always had her nose in a Mills & Boon romance novel, and while considered trashy they kept many people reading for many years. In more recent times the brand has fallen out of favour but HarperCollins is giving the books a new lease of life, relaunching the 110-year old brand earlier this year with a facelift and a fresh approach.

Now Mills & Boon has teamed up with PR Agency Taylor Herring to launch a nationwide summer reading campaign and has commissioned ten short stories all set in the UK’s most romantic spots.
Read More

These Literary Maps of the United Kingdom Bring Novel Locations to Life

By | Literary Places | One Comment
Literary escapism is the reason we read, to get lost in another’s mind, another’s thoughts and ideas allows us to learn empathy and gain experience without living them. It’s not just the characters either, you can travel the world through books and these literary maps bring the locations of many British books to life.

The United Kingdom has always been a favourite location for writers, especially those classic authors of the past. Many of the best known books through the years are set in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland and these maps bring these to life. Read More

Property developers name their new community ‘Gilead’.

By | Literary Places, Literature | No Comments
Gilead‘ is known to many literature fans, and television watchers, as the theocratic, authoritarian republic run by an ultra-religious US government created by Margaret Atwood. In Gilead women have no rights, and those unfortunate enough to be able to bear children are forced into sexual slavery. Free speech doesn’t exist and any hint of backlash from the women results in drastic action from those in charge.

Bearing all that in mind: would you name your new community development Gilead?! A group in New South Wales, Australia, has done just that.

Read More

Leave a Reply