In 1967 Elizabeth wrote to Roald Dahl about her struggles with starting at a new school - he sent her a postcard and a letter to help her settle in...
School girl Elizabeth was finding it hard to settle into her new school in 1967, and wrote to Roald Dahl telling him about it.
She was thrilled to get a postcard back from him, encouraging her to try to imagine being happier, as he’d ‘heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true’.
His postcard, addressed to Elizabeth at ‘Stoke-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England, Europe, The World, The Universe’ helped her enormously and she wrote back a few months later to tell him that she had indeed settled in and how she had made lots of friends. Roald Dahl was delighted, and replied back promising to celebrate her news and ‘eat cake and bars of chocolate that I get from Charlie Bucket at the Chocolate Factory just around the corner from where I live’.
The postcard reads:
I am so sorry to hear that you are not settling in to your new school. You must try to imagine that you like it, for I've heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true. When I hear that you are happy again and the maker of music and the dreamer of dreams, I shall dance and sing and nod and nod with my mouth bulging with Cadbury's best chocolate and other gloriumptious things.
Lots of love from
The letter reads:
I am so pleased that you have settled into your new school and I will dance a little jig of joy the moment I finish this letter. I will eat cake and bars of chocolate that I get from Charlie Bucket at the Chocolate Factory just around the corner from where I live. I will laugh and sing and be happy for you. Please don't ever grow up like sliggylumpfructious Veruca Salt, be nice and kind and never let anything make you sad. Take no notice of your brother, because boys are always bongerlygribsy and eat slugs and worms. Try and be a Dinketysnipsy girl, then you will always be happy.
Lots of love
The little girl Elizabeth eventually became Class Leader and Prefect of her school and later became a teacher. Remembering her own experiences, she always tried to make sure that new starters at her school were looked after, quoting Roald Dahl’s own words of encouragement.