Watership Down

Rationale, Author & Adaptations

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.







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