Hugh Lofting was born in England in 1886 and died in 1947. As a child he had many kinds of pets, and he even had his own little 'zoo' at home. When grown up, he trained to become an engineer, but he was always more interested in writing, so he also started to write short stories and plays.
During the First World War, Lofting was sent to fight in the trenches in Flanders*, and during that difficult time he was upset to see the suffering of the soldiers' horses. They were not looked after like soldiers were, and it occurred to him that it would be best if people could learn horse language so they could care for the horses properly. This was the beginning of an idea...
To help himself through the war, Lofting began to write letters to his children. These letters had little stories and pictures in them—mainly about talking to animals—and they were the beginning of the story of Doctor Dolittle. After the war, in 1922, the story of Doctor Dolittle was published, and Lofting ended up writing another eleven books about Doctor Dolittle and his adventures.
* Flanders is a region or area of Belgium (a country next to France) where terrible fighting took place in the First and Second World Wars.
Works by Hugh Lofting
Currently available from Books for Learning is Hugh Lofting's famous story Doctor Dolittle, edited for children aged nine and above.
His other works include:
- The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
- Doctor Dolittle's Post Office
- Doctor Dolittle's Circus
- Doctor Dolittle's Zoo
- Doctor Dolittle's Caravan
- Doctor Dolittle's Garden
- Doctor Dolittle in the Moon
- Doctor Dolittle's Return
- Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake
- Doctor Dolittle and the Green Canary
- Doctor Dolittle's Puddleby Adventures