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Richard Adams (1) [1920–2016]

This page covers the author of Watership Down.

For other authors named Richard Adams, see the disambiguation page.

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Richard George Adams was born in Newbury, England on May 9, 1920. He enrolled at the University of Oxford in 1938, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. During the war, he served with the British airborne forces in the Middle East and India. After the war, he returned to Oxford and received a degree in history in 1948. He joined the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and worked his way up over 20 years to a senior post in the clean-air section of the environmental department. He retired in 1974 to become a full-time writer. His first his novel, Watership Down, was published in 1972. It received the Carnegie Medal in Literature in 1972 and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1973. His other books include Shardik, The Plague Dogs, Traveller, and Tales from Watership Down. He also wrote an autobiography entitled The Day Gone By. He died on December 24, 2016 at the age of 96. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Watership Down… (more)
Watership Down (Author) 23,544 copies, 455 reviews
Tales from Watership Down (Author) 2,412 copies, 33 reviews
The Plague Dogs 2,097 copies, 38 reviews
Shardik 2,035 copies, 18 reviews
Maia 906 copies, 17 reviews
The Girl in a Swing 811 copies, 15 reviews
Traveller 433 copies, 8 reviews
The Iron Wolf and Other Stories 375 copies, 5 reviews
The Tyger Voyage 166 copies, 2 reviews
Nature Through the Seasons 142 copies, 2 reviews
The Ship's Cat 115 copies, 1 review
Richard Adams's Favorite Animal Stories (Editor) 63 copies, 1 review
Nature Day and Night 61 copies, 2 reviews
The Day Gone By 55 copies
Voyage Through the Antarctic 51 copies, 1 review
A Nature Diary 33 copies, 1 review
Daniel 17 copies, 2 reviews
The Bureaucats 14 copies, 1 review
Stories: All-New Tales (Contributor) 1,318 copies, 67 reviews
Watership Down [1978 film] (Original book) 135 copies, 1 review
The Private Life of the Rabbit (Introduction, some editions) 116 copies, 4 reviews
Shivers for Christmas (Contributor) 23 copies
Guardian Angels (Contributor) 11 copies
The Plague Dogs [1982 film] (Original book) 5 copies
Gentle Footprints (Contributor) 2 copies
The Girl in a Swing [1988 film] (Original book) 2 copies
20th century (199) adventure (471) allegory (201) animals (1,202) anthology (184) anthropomorphism (148) British (201) British literature (165) children (146) children's (287) children's literature (181) classic (551) classics (513) dogs (126) ebook (107) England (242) English (107) English literature (118) fantasy (2,661) fantasy fiction (88) favorites (113) fiction (4,283) hardcover (106) horror (100) literature (339) nature (134) novel (527) own (160) owned (88) paperback (150) rabbits (1,046) read (427) Richard Adams (141) science fiction (118) sff (116) short stories (392) talking animals (89) to-read (1,330) unread (236) young adult (231)
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Richard Adams was born in Newbury, Berkshire. From 1933 until 1938 he was educated at Bradfield College. In 1938 he went up to Worcester College, Oxford to read Modern History. On 3 September 1939 Neville Chamberlain announced that the United Kingdom was at war with Germany. In 1940 Adams joined the British Army, in which he served until 1946. He received a class B discharge enabling him to return to Worcester to continue his studies for a further two years (1946-48). He took the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1948 and of Master of Arts in 1953.

He was a senior civil servant who worked as an Assistant Secretary for the Department of Agriculture, later part of the Department of the Environment, from 1948 to 1974. Since 1974, following publication of his second novel, Shardik, he has been a full-time author.

He originally began telling the story of Watership Down to his two daughters, Juliet and Rosamund, and they insisted he publish it as a book. It took two years to write and was rejected by thirteen publishers. When Watership Down was finally published, it sold over a million copies in record time in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Watership Down has become a modern classic and won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1972. To date, Adams' best-known work has sold over 50 million copies world-wide, earning him more than all his other books put together.

As of 1982, he was President of the RSPCA.

He also contested the 1983 general election, standing as an Independent Conservative in the Spelthorne constituency on a platform of opposition to fox hunting.

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