Richard Adams, creator of the beloved book Watership Down, has died at age 96.
According to a statement on the site for the book, “Richard’s much-loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10 pm on Christmas Eve.”
Richard published the book in 1972, after many publishing houses refused publication, due to the nature of the book and the “odd point of view” that it had.
The book covers the story of a group of anthropomorphized rabbits as they left the devastation of their old warren, seeking out a new one many miles and hardships away.
It was made into an animated film in 1978 and is still watched by many today.
The statement on the website offered some final words, quoted from the book, Watership Down.
It read: “It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.
“‘You needn’t worry about them,’ said his companion. ‘They’ll be alright – and thousands like them.”’
A new animated TV mini-series of Watership Down, co-produced by the BBC and Netflix, is due to air next year in four one-hour parts.