Hugh John Lofting (1886 – 1947) was an English author trained as a civil engineer, who created the classic children’s literature character of Doctor Dolittle. It first appeared in illustrated letters to his children written by Lofting from the British Army trenches in World War I.
Hugh Lofting’s character Doctor John Dolittle, an English physician from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh in the West Country, who could speak to animals, first saw light in the author’s illustrated letters to children, written from the trenches during the 1914–1918 War, when actual news, he later said, was either too horrible or too dull. The stories are set in early Victorian England in the 1820s–1840s (The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle gives a date of 1839). He was living in Killingworth, Connecticut, while he wrote most of the instalments to the series.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed (1920) began the series and won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958. The sequel The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922) won Lofting the prestigious Newbery Medal. Eight more books followed, and after Lofting’s death two more appeared, composed of short previously unpublished pieces.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle
The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts (1920), written and illustrated by the British author Hugh Lofting, is the first of his Doctor Dolittle books, a series of children's novels about a man who learns to talk to animals and becomes their champion around the world.
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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle was the second of Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle books to be published, coming out in 1922.
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