Hugh Lofting (1886–1947) was a British author, trained as a civil engineer, who created the character of Dr. Dolittle—one of the classics of children's literature. After serving in World War I as an officer in the Irish Guards, in which he was seriously wounded, he and his family moved to Connecticut. He was married three times and had three children.
Lofting's doctor from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh who could speak to animals first saw light in the author's illustrated letters to children, written from the trenches during World War I when actual news, he later said, was either too horrible or too dull. The stories are set in early Victorian England. The Story of Dr. Dolittle is the first title in the series. The sequel, The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle, won Lofting the prestigious Newbery Medal. Eight more books followed, and the series has been adapted for film and television many times, for stage twice, and for radio.
Lofting produced a number of other books in addition to his Dr. Dolittle titles. Among his publications are the children's picture books The Story of Mrs. Tubbs and Tommy, Tilly, and Mrs. Tubbs; Porridge Poetry, a light-hearted book of poems for children; Noisy Nora; The Twilight of Magic; and Victory for the Slain, an epic poem and the only work Lofting wrote for adults.
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