Hugh Lofting was born on January 14, 1886, in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. From age eight, he attended a Jesuit boarding school in Derbyshire. He later attended MIT, and completed his studies in civil engineering at London Polytechnic. His engineering and surveying work took him to Africa, the West Indies, Canada, and finally to the US. He settled in New York City in 1912, having decided to become a writer.

When he was on the front during World War I (he served in the British Guard), Lofting sent his children lots of crazyheaded stories about a veterinarian who could talk to animals. After serving in Flanders and France, Lofting was wounded and sent back home, where he began work on the Dr. Dolittle stories.

The first Dr. Dolittle book appeared in 1920 and was an instant success. Lofting wrote one Dr. Dolittle book a year until 1927, one of them winning the Newbery. He illustrated each of them himself.

By this time Lofting was sick of it, and tried to get rid of his hero by sending him to the moon, but popular demand compelled him to write Dr. Dolittle's Return in 1933. The last of the series, Dr. Dolittle and the Secret Lake, took him thirteen years to write, and ended up being published posthumously in 1948. He did write a few books about non-Dolittle characters, but they're all long out of print.

The books stayed popular long after his death. In 1967 a Dr. Dolittle movie (a musical!) heightened the already worldwide interest in his books, and several were reissued with new illustrations (not his own). We're not going to talk about the Eddie Murphy fiasco.

Hugh Lofting died on September 26, 1947, in Santa Monica. His gravestone reads "Quis Seperabit." ("Who will separate?") We're not sure why.


Dr. Dolittle

Doctor Dolittle and the Green Canary

Doctor Dolittle and the Pirates

Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake

Doctor Dolittle in the Moon

Dr. Dolittle's Animals

Doctor Dolittle's Birthday Book

Doctor Dolittle's Caravan

Doctor Dolittle's Circus

Doctor Dolittle's Garden

Doctor Dolittle's Post Office

Doctor Dolittle's Puddleby Adventures

Doctor Dolittle's Return

Doctor Dolittle's Zoo

The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle   (1923 Newbery Award)

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