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Hugh Lofting Books In Order

Publication Order of Doctor Dolittle Books

The Story of Doctor Dolittle / Doctor Dolittle (1920)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle / Doctor Dolittle and the Pirates (1922)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Post Office (1923)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle’s Circus (1924)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Zoo (1925)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Caravan (1926)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Garden (1927)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle in the Moon (1928)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gub Gub's Book (1932)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Return (1933)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Birthday Book (1936)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake (1948)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dr. Dolittle And The Green Canary (1950)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Puddleby Adventure (1952)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Twilight of Magic (1930)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Animals (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle to the Rescue (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle in Trouble (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle Saves the Day (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle and the Lighthouse (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's First Adventure (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle Takes Charge (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Dolittle's Ambulance (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Doctor Dolittle Stories (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

An important name within British children’s literature, the English writer Hugh Lofting would come to be very highly regarded during his lifetime. Primarily known for his creation of the Dr Dolittle character, he became an extremely respected voice, as his Dolittle books would go on to become an institution in their own right. Serving the trenches of the first World War, he’d write the stories for his children back home, sending them back as letters, which would later be published.

He would also write other books, along with an extended poem for adults based on his time in the war, but it would be his Dolittle creation that would really capture the reading public’s attention. This popular character would go on to inspire a number of different adaptations, along with films, plays, and radio serials, becoming a key literary figure of the twentieth century. More and more discover his work every day, with new generations continuing to enjoy his books, something that will carry on for some time to come.

Early and Personal Life

Born on the 14th of January in 1886, Hugh Lofting would grow up in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in the United Kingdom where he was born and raised. His brother, Hilary Lofting, would also become an author at a later date, moving to Australia and writing about his many travels. Hugh himself would be strongly interested in reading and writing from an early age, a passion which he followed throughout the years.

Attending Mount St Mary’s College, which was in Spinkhill, in Derbyshire, he’d later go on to study civil engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Studying between the years of 1905 and 1906, he’d graduate from the academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as he’d go on to travel as a civil engineer. Later on he’d enlist in the Irish Guards regiment in World War One for the British Army, and it was during this time he’d begin create his most beloved character.

Serving in the trenches of the war, he’d use the free time available to write to his children and, not wanting to write about the horrors of the war itself, would write them fantastical letters. This would soon become the basis for his Dr Dolittle character, which would become the protagonist of a long-running series of books. He would also be seriously injured in the war, after which he’d move with his family to the United States, living in Killingworth, Connecticut.

Married three times, he would also have three children, as his literary estate would be left to his son Christopher to take care of. Writing other books as well, he’d see his work become hugely popular, enjoying a large amount of success during his lifetime. Over the years his legacy has continued to grow, with the Dolittle name living on with the author, as readers continue to enjoy his work to this day.

Writing Career:

The first book that Hugh Lofting would release was ‘The Story of Doctor Dolittle’ in 1920, which was also the set-up for the series of the same name. Introducing the character for the first time, it would be a huge success with scores of readers worldwide enjoying it. It would also go on to inspire an NBC radio series between 1933 and 1934, along with a 1967 musical starring Rex Harrison. There’d also be a 1998 film starring Eddie Murphy in the lead-role, which would see a number of sequels and spin-offs, along with a 2020 featuring Robert Downey Jr. as Dolittle.

Receiving a huge amount of acclaim during his lifetime, Lofting’s Dolittle series is what he’s best known for. He would produce other children’s books though, such as Mrs. Tubbs picture books for younger readers, which follow in a similar vein, and some poetry collections for children too. There was also ‘Victory for the Slain’ in 1942, which was a war poem for adults based on his time in the trenches, conveying his thoughts and feelings. Winning the Newbery Medal in 1923 for his book ‘The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle’, he’d come to be a household name for generations to follow.

Dr Dolittle’s Circus:

Originally published in 1924 through the ‘Frederick A. Stokes’ publishing label, this was to be the fourth book in the Dr Dolittle series. Continuing on from the others, it was an entirely new adventure, with many characters returning, along with the Doctor who can speak to animals. This would also partly inspired the 1967 film starring Rex Harrison in the lead-role, with elements of the story making up some of it.

Looking to fund his journey to Africa, Dr Dolittle aims to get his Pushmi-Pullyu, a gazelle/unicorn cross with a head at either end, into the circus. Soon he finds one owned by the ring-master Blossum, and the first performance goes extremely well, as the show is a huge success. Then Dr Dolittle discovers, through speaking to the animals there, that they’re not being treated so well, and it is up to him to help them. Will he be able to rescue them? Can he make sure their cages are cleaned properly? What will become of Dr Dolittle’s circus?

The Twilight of Magic

First published in 1930, this still remains in print, as it would be one of the few non Dr Dolittle books for Lofting. It was also illustrated by Lois Lenski, being the only time he’d use another illustrator, and it was a stand-alone book of two parts. This would be an interesting addition for Hugh Lofting as an author, as it would display his brief venture into more Young Adult fare, making it a must for any fans of the author.

Set in the Middle Ages, this follows Giles and Anne coming-of-age in a magical kingdom, as the magic of the time is giving way to science. Looking at Giles during his teenage years as he lives in service to the king, it follows his quests during this period of time. Looking at knights and royalty, all believing in magic, it examines the passing of an era when people still believed in that. Capturing the essence of the period, it’s a story that takes a departure from Lofting’s other work to speak to the twilight of magic.

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