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Richard Adams Biography

(1920– ), Watership Down, Shardik, Plague Dogs, The Girl in a Swing, Maia, Traveller

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: 110A Piccadilly to Nelson Algren Biography

British novelist, born in Berkshire, educated at Oxford University. His hugely popular first novel, Watership Down (1972), a fantasy about a community of rabbits, was enjoyed by both adults and children, and established his curious gift of understanding animals, which are at the centre also of his well-known novels Shardik (1974) and Plague Dogs (1977). Adams employed a variety of human protagonists in The Girl in a Swing (1980), a supernatural thriller, and in Maia (1984), an epic fantasy of love and war. Traveller (1988) is an unusual account of the American Civil War seen through the eyes of Traveller, General E. Lee's horse, and told by Traveller to Tom, a domestic cat in his stables. Adams has confessed to being more interested in telling a good story than in writing ‘great literature’, and he has found the literary establishment reciprocating with consistent critical disdain. The Day Gone By (1990) is an autobiography.

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