Richard Adams dies

Richard Adams dies

Watership Down author Richard Adams died on Christmas Eve at the age of 96.

The children's classic Watership Down, about a group of rabbits who have to search for a new home after their warren is destroyed, was first published in 1972 and was a huge success, winning the Carnegie Medal. The novel was filmed in 1978, with the famous Art Garfunkel theme song "Bright Eyes." A further adaptation will be broadcast this year by the BBC and Netflix, starring James McAvoy and Ben Kingsley.

The book was written after Adams told the story to his daughters to entertain them on a long car journey. Juliet Johnson, one of Adams' daughters, said news of the latest adaptation had given her father "great composure and comfort."

Watership Down has sold 107,552 for £705,731 across all editions through Nielsen BookScan since 1998, when records began.

A Richard Adams picture book, The Adventures of the Egg Box Dragon, about a mischievous home-made dragon who likes solving mysteries, will be published later this year by Hodder Children's Books.  

Anne McNeil, senior publisher at Hodder Children's Books, told The Bookseller: "We were incredibly sad to learn of the loss of Richard Adams, one of the most influential authors of our era. We have been privileged to work with him on his last book, The Adventures of Egg Box Dragon, which publishes this year. Our thoughts are with his family.’