Hugh John Lofting (14 January 1886 – 26 September 1947) was a British author, trained as a civil engineer, who created the character of Doctor Dolittle, one of the classics of children's literature. He was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire in January 1886 to English and Irish parents. He was educated at Mount St Mary's College in Spinkhill, Derbyshire. From 1905 to 1906 he studied abroad, taking classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
He travelled widely as a civil engineer, before enlisting in the Irish Guards regiment of the British Army to serve in the First World War. Not wishing to write to his children about the brutality of the war, he wrote imaginative letters which later became the foundation of the successful Doctor Dolittle novels for children. Seriously wounded in the war, Lofting moved with his family to Killingworth, Connecticut, in the US.
Hugh Lofting's character Doctor John Dolittle, an English physician from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh in the West Country, who could speak to animals, first saw light in the author's illustrated letters to children, written from the trenches during the War of 1914 to 1918, when actual news, he later said, was either too horrible or too dull. The stories are set in early Victorian England, around the 1840s, according to a date given in The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed (1920) began the series and won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958. The sequel, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922), won Lofting the prestigious Newbery Medal. Eight more books followed, and after Lofting's death two more volumes appeared, composed of short unpublished pieces.
The series has been adapted for film and television many times, for stage twice, and also for radio. The Story of Mrs Tubbs (1923) and Tommy, Tilly, and Mrs. Tubbs (1936) are picture books aimed at a younger audience than the Doctor Dolittle books. They are about the old woman of the title and her pets, with whom she can speak, and the animals who help her out of trouble. Porridge Poetry (1924) is the only non-Dolittle work by Lofting still in print. It is a lighthearted, colorfully illustrated book of poems for children. Noisy Nora (1929) is a cautionary tale about a girl who is a noisy eater. The book is printed as if hand-written, and the many illustrations often merge with the text. The Twilight of Magic (1930) is aimed at older readers. It is set in an age when magic is dying and science is beginning. This work is the only one of Lofting's books to be illustrated by another person (Lois Lenski).
SOME INTERESTING POSTS!!!!!
Being offered a job even before completing his PHD work, he got fascinated with seismology & developed RICHTER scale!!!
This dreamer had a zillion ideas & found his first product idea for TUPPERWARE working in a plastic factory!!!