Published in 1972 in London, "Watership Down" is a story of rabbits on an adventure. Although they are rabbits living in warrens, Richard Adams gives them the voices, morals, and stories of people. They have a government, culture, language, mythology, etc. When Fiver is given the premonition that something bad is … [Read more...] about Watership Down
Richard George Adams was born on May 9th, 1920 in Newbury, Berkshire, England. The son of a doctor, Adams attended Horris Hill School during the 1920s and then Bradford College and then Oxford during the 1930's. In 1940, Adams was drafted into the British Army for World War II. He joined the Royal Army Service Corps where he worked as a brigade liaison in Palestine, Europe and Asia for the next five years. Fortunately he did not experience any combat.
Adams returned to Oxford after the war was over to continue his studies for two more years. In 1948, he graduated with a Bachelor's degree and then went on to receive a Masters in 1953. After which he returned to the British Civil Service to serve as Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. It was during this time that he began writing fiction.
Adams originally conceived of that idea behind his most famous novel, "Watership Down" while telling his two daughters a story on a long car ride. His daughters begged him to turn it into a book and Adams took two years to write the manuscript, finally finishing in 1968. It was finally published in 1972, after being rejected be several publishers. The book was an immediate success and sold over a million copies worldwide.
For the novel, Adams won two of the most prestigious awards in children's literature, The Carnegie Medal, and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.
In 1974, Adams published a second novel, "Shardik" about a lonely hunter and a large bear he believes is a God. After this publication, Adams left the Civil Service and became a professional author going on to publish 18 more books in his lifetime.
Adams lived to be 96 years old, dying on December 24, 2016 in Oxford, England from complications pertaining to a blood disorder. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth and his two daughters, the inspiration for his bestselling novel, Juliet and Rosamond.