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article imageWatership Down author Richard Adams has died

By Tim Sandle     Dec 27, 2016 in Entertainment
Author Richard Adams, best known for his novel 'Watership Down' and the popular animated movie that followed, has died aged 96.
News of Richard Adams's passing has come from his daughter, and reported by the BBC. Adams is best known for his children's' novel Watership Down which movingly tells the story of a group of rabbits who go in search of a new home after the destruction of their warren. The novel published in 1972 and it has never been out of print since. Other works by the author include Shardik, The Plague Dogs and The Girl in a Swing.
A video capture from Watership Down (1978)
A video capture from Watership Down (1978)
Kyle Anderson
On the website Watership Down Enterprises (via Sky News), the author's publicist writes: "Richard's much-loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve."
This is followed by an excerpt from Watership Down:
It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.
"You needn't worry about them," said his companion. "They'll be alright — and thousands like them."'
A movie version of Watership Down was released in 1978. It was a top ten box office release into 1979. The movie featured the voices of John Hurt, Richard Briers, Harry Andrews, Simon Cadell, Nigel Hawthorne and Roy Kinnear — and included the Art Garfunkel hit single Bright Eyes.
The story for the classic novel apparently came to Adams during a long car journey., when he needed to keep his children amused. The book went on to receive the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction. The book has generally been well-received over the years, redefining anthropomorphic fiction and adding rich naturalistic depiction of the rabbits’ adventures. This continued with The Plague Dogs, which explores animal rights. The book describes the adventures of two dogs that escape from a vivisection laboratory.
Another notable achievement of Adams, The Guardian reports, is that he was president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals from 1980–82.
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