The author of Watership Down Richard Adams has died at the age of 96.
A statement on the book's official website said: "Richard's much-loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10pm on Christmas Eve."
Born in 1920, Adams rose to prominence for the iconic adventure novel which follows a group of rabbits who escape the destruction of their warren. The 1972 novel was the English novelist's first book and won numerous book awards despite being initially rejected by several publishers before Collings accepted it. It was adapted into a 1978 animated film.
Adams, from Newbury in Berkshire, is also known for writing Shardik and The Plague Dogs.
He studied modern history at university before going on to serve in the British Army during the second world war.
His death was commemorated with a passage from his most well-known work on the website dedicated to Watership Down.
"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."'
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