September 13th, 1916 was an important date for the world. I see you frowning. Give me a minute. I’m going to explain.
On that day a little boy was born in Llandaff, Wales to Norwegian parents. At home, his family always spoke Norwegian, so that became his first language.
He was named after the polar explorer Amudsen.
When he was very small, both his sister and his father died, but his mother decided to stay in Britain so that her children could have a British education.
If you want to know more about his childhood, you should read the first part of his biography. You’ll learn a lot about him and enjoy it because he had a great sense of humour.
I’m going to skip a great chunk of his life and tell you that in 1953 he married an actress. Their marriage lasted thirty years and they had five children together. After he divorced her, he married a second time. I’ve heard he was an unashamed philanderer…
1962 was a terrible year for him, as his daughter, Olivia, died of measles encephalitis. This changed him completely and made him lose his faith.
He died in 1990 of a blood disorder and is buried in Great Missenden. I have been there to visit his grave and also a museum dedicated to him in the same town.
His books are some of the best I have ever read. He wrote both for children and adults. I love his imaginative stories, his humorous take on serious or sad subjects and his command of the English language.
If you don’t know what to read next, I recommend this great author….
P.S. Can you guess who he is?