Acclaimed British novelist Richard Adams is one of the latest to join the long list of well-known people to pass away in 2016. According to a report by the New York Times, Adams died on Saturday, December 24, 2016. He was 96 years old.
Richard Adams was best known for his best-selling adventure novel Watership Down, a tale about a group of adventurous and anthropomorphic rabbits who go on a journey of survival and self-discovery.
Before becoming a full-time author in 1974, Adams worked anonymously for the civil service in London, writing government reports on the environment. However, Adams was also a gifted storyteller who crafted creative stories about rabbits in order to entertain his young daughters.
At his daughters’ insistence, Adams began writing his stories as novels at the age of 50. After two years of writing in the evenings following his day job, Watership Down was completed. The novel would go on to sell over a million copies worldwide and helped earn Adams two of the most prestigious British children’s book awards: the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
Watership Down was adapted into an animated film in 1978; an animated television series, broadcast in Britain and Canada from 1999 to 2001; and a theatrical production released in London in 2006.
In addition to Watership Down, Richard Adams also wrote the novels Shardik and The Plague Dogs, as well as numerous short stories, poems, nonfiction pieces and an autobiography. Despite some selling well, none of these works were able to obtain the level of success that Adams’ first novel was able to reach.
Richard Adams’ death was reported to BBC and other British news organizations by his daughter, but no further details have yet been released. The writer’s legacy will live on in his works, whose cuddly yet lifelike and realistic characters continue to entertain children and young adults to this day.