First published in 1988, Matilda is considered one of Roald Dahl’s most popular children’s books and is among the most well-known children’s books of the twentieth century. Winning the Children’s Book Award in 1989, it appeared after the commercial success of James and the Giant Peach (1961), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and The BFG (1982). Like these and several other children’s books by Dahl, Matilda includes illustrations by Quentin Blake.

A large part of the novel’s popularity has been its appeal to parents and educators as the character of Matilda promotes reading. “The symbolic power that this iconic figure holds, for mediators, children, and parents alike, is enormous, and it is to Dahl’s immense talent that Matilda owes her canonization as role model for

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Citation: Trimarco, Paola. "Matilda". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2021 [, accessed 03 December 2023.]

10437 Matilda 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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