"Animals don't behave like men,' he said. 'If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don't sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures' lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality": First Edition of Watership Down; Signed by Richard Adams

  • Watership Down.

Watership Down.

$6,500.00

Item Number: 39002

London: Rex Collings, 1972.

First edition of the author’s first and most beloved work. Octavo, original brown cloth. Signed by the author on the title page, “Yours sincerely Richard Adams.” Fine in a fine dust jacket with a touch of shelf wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A superior example.

Although Watership Down was rejected by 13 publishers before Collings accepted it, it has never been out of print, and is Penguin Books' best-selling novel of all time. It won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Prize. The title refers to a hill in the north of Hampshire, England, near the area where Adams grew up. The story has its roots in the tales that Richard Adams made up for his young daughters during long car journeys. As he explained in 2007 in an interview with the BBC, he "began telling the story of the rabbits . . . improvised off the top of my head, as we were driving along." He based the struggles of the animals on the struggles he and his friends encountered during the Battle of Oosterbeek in 1944. The daughters insisted he write it down—"they were very, very persistent." After some delay he began writing in the evenings and completed it 18 months later.

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