Matilda (novel)

Matilda
MatildaCover.jpg
First UK edition
AuthorRoald Dahl
IllustratorQuentin Blake
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren's literature, Fantasy
Published1 October 1988
PublisherJonathan Cape

Matilda is a book by British writer Roald Dahl. It was published in 1988 by Jonathan Cape in London, with 232 pages and illustrations by Quentin Blake. It was adapted as an audio reading by actress Kate Winslet, a 1996 feature film directed by Danny DeVito, a two-part BBC Radio 4 programme starring Lauren Mote as Matilda, Emerald O'Hanrahan as Miss Honey, Nichola McAuliffe as Miss Trunchbull and narrated by Lenny Henry, and a 2010 musical.[1][2][3][4]

In 2012 Matilda was ranked number 30 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with primarily US audience. It was the first of four books by Dahl among the Top 100, more than any other writer.[5] Time included Matilda in its list of the 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time.[6] Worldwide sales have reached 17 million, and since 2016 sales have spiked to the extent that it outsells Dahl's other works.[7]

Plot

In a small Buckinghamshire village, Matilda Wormwood, a five-and-half-year-old girl of unusual precocity, whose parents treat her with disdain, resorts to pranks like gluing her father's hat to his head, hiding a friend's parrot in the chimney to simulate a burglar or ghost, and secretly bleaching her father's hair, to get revenge on her parents (particularly her father) for being so mean to her. Matilda has read a variety of books by different authors, especially at the age of four, when she read many in six months.

At school, Matilda makes friends with her teacher, Jennifer Honey, who is astonished by Matilda's intellectual abilities. She tries to move her into a higher class but is refused by the headmistress, the tyrannical Miss Agatha Trunchbull. Miss Honey also tries to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood about Matilda's intelligence, but they ignore her.

Matilda quickly develops a particularly strong bond with Miss Honey and watches as Miss Trunchbull terrorizes her students with deliberately creative, over-the-top punishments to prevent parents from believing them. When Matilda's friend, Lavender, plays a practical joke on Miss Trunchbull by placing a newt in her jug of water, Matilda uses an unexpected power of telekinesis to tip the glass of water containing the newt onto Miss Trunchbull.

After Matilda reveals her powers to Miss Honey, Miss Honey confides that she was raised by an abusive aunt after the suspicious death of her father. Her aunt is revealed to be Miss Trunchbull, who appears (among other misdeeds) to be withholding her niece's inheritance so that Miss Honey has to live in poverty in a derelict farm cottage. Preparing to avenge Miss Honey, Matilda develops her telekinetic gift through practice at home. Later, during a sadistic lesson that Miss Trunchbull is teaching, Matilda telekinetically raises a piece of chalk to the blackboard and writes on it, posing as the spirit of Miss Honey's late father and demanding that Miss Trunchbull hand over Miss Honey's house and wages and leave the region forever.

This is soon done, and a short while later the school's deputy head teacher, Mr. Trilby, visits Miss Trunchbull's house but finds it empty with no sign of her next destination. As Mr. Trilby becomes the new head of the school, he proves himself to be capable and good-natured, with the result that Matilda herself advances to the highest level of schooling. Rather to her relief, she is no longer capable of telekinesis; this is explained by Miss Honey as the result of using her mind on a more challenging curriculum. Matilda continues to visit Miss Honey at her house regularly, but one day finds her parents and her older brother Michael hastily packing to escape from the police, who are after her father for selling stolen cars. Matilda asks permission to live with Miss Honey, to which her parents rather uninterestedly agree. So both she and Miss Honey find their happy ending, and the school's atmosphere and curriculum have overwhelmingly improved under Mr. Trilby.

Other Languages
বাংলা: মাটিলডা
español: Matilda
euskara: Matilda
français: Matilda (roman)
Кыргызча: Матилда
Nederlands: Matilda (boek)
português: Matilda
Simple English: Matilda (novel)
Türkçe: Matilda (kitap)
українська: Матильда (книга)