The Witches was written in 1983 by famed children’s author Roald Dahl. At this point, Dahl had written many of his most well known works, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. The book was dedicated to Roald Dahl’s wife Felicity, or Liccy. It was illustrated by Quentin Blake, who illustrated the majority of Dahl’s vast body of work.
It was first published by Jonathan Cape. It has been made into an audiobook, a stage play, a radio play, a 1990 movie and an opera by Marcus Paus and Ole Paus. The movie starred Anjelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. The book was inspired by its setting. The book takes place partly in Norway and partly in the United Kingdom.
As a child, Dahl spent nearly all of his summers with family in Norway. This was his favorite part of the year. Many stories that were made here are told in his memoir, Boy. It is also said that the grandmother character was inspired by Dahl’s own mother. Norway was a special place for Dahl. It was where he spent the most time with his extended family. Norway was a place where a young boy could have some adventures.
The Witches is a frequently banned book. Some organizations have declared it as being sexist and archaic. This stems from the fact that all of the villains in the book are women, and that a witch can’t be a man. Some people see it as sending a more balanced message, one that entails seeing past people’s exterior.
The Witches was one of the most challenged books in the period of 1990-1999. The Witches still received heavy praise, including three major awards. It won The New York Times Outstanding Books Award, The Federation of Children's Book Groups Award and The Whitbread Award. All three of these are major honors.
A film adaptation was created in 1990. It differed from the book in two major ways. First, it gave the main characters, who remained nameless in the book, the names Luke and Helga. Second, it changed the ending and returned the main character to his previous state. Dahl hated the film with a passion, and despised the changes that they had made.
In 2008, the BBC aired a radio version. It starred Ryan Watson as Boy, and Margaret Tyzack as the Grandmother.The witches in the story seem human, but have several distinguishing characteristics. Firstly, they are all bald. Every witch must wear a wig. Also, they have no toes and long claw-like fingernails. Finally, witches make blue spittle. These traits help others look out for them. Witches also have a heightened sense of smell. This causes them to easily smell children, who smell like dog droppings to them. Witches are on a quest to eradicate the world of all children. Their goal is to kill one child a week. However, the Grand High Witch thinks that this isn’t enough, and she formulates an evil plot to destroy all the children.