Why I Chose Watership Down
As a child I loved reading and being read to by my mum and one of the books she would often read to me was Watership Down. Although the story is often scary and violent (I think she might have skipped some parts) the main theme of the book is friendship and overcoming adversities which I enjoyed. As well as reading the book, I would watch the 1978 animated film with my sisters over and over again until the tape wore through. We'd make up games together where we'd each play a different character and run round the house like bunnies. When I think of Watership Down I think of being a child playing with my sisters, of the worn book with a battered spine on the bookshelf and my mums favourite mug on the coffee table... I think of home.
About the Author
Born in Newbury, England in 1920 Richard Adams studied modern history at university before serving in the British army in World War II. After leaving the military he continued his studies, achieving his Bachelors degree and subsequently an MA. After telling Watership Down to his daughters on a car trip, they persuaded him to write it and it was eventually published in 1972. It went on to sell a million copies worldwide over the following couple of years and it won both of the most prestigious children’s awards. Adams' work as a public figure meant he spent a year as the head of the RSPCA and also campaigned against the use of fur as well as writing a satirical book about experimentation on animals. After Watership Down, he went on to write a further 19 books – the most recent of which was just after his 90th birthday which raised funds for the Born Free Foundation.
- ▼ 1978 - The animated film was released with the title song being 'Bright Eyes' by Art Garfunkel which became a number 1 hit in the UK
- ▼ 1990 - 2001 - Animated TV series consisting of three seasons, however only two were shown in the UK but all three were broadcast in Canada. The series showcased the voice talents of Stephen Fry and Dawn French.
- ▼ 2018 - Animated series by the BBC and Netflix comprised of 4 hour-long episodes with a combined budget of £20million and starred James McAvoy, Ben Kingsley and John Boyega.
- ▼ 2006 - Theatre production of Watership Down at the Lyric Theatre in London which was inspired the tensions of war
- ▼ 2002 - BBC Radio 4 two-part, two-hour dramatisation which was subsequently re-done with a new version in 2016
- ▼ 1970 - Audiobook read by Roy Dotrice, accompanied by music
- ▼ 1984 - Four-cassette audiobook
- ▼ 1990 - 16 hour, 11 cassette recording published by Books on Tape
- ▼ 2010 - Audible.com released an unabridged version narrated by Ralph Cosham
- ▼ 2019 - Blackstone Audio Inc. released a 17 hour audiobook narrated by Peter Capaldi with the foreward read by the author, Richard Adams
References for all pages:
- ▼ Watership Down 1972, Rex Collings Publishers