Richard Adams, the British children’s book author who wrote Watership Down, has died at age 96.  Adams’ daughter told the BBC he passed away on Christmas Eve, just before midnight. No other details were given.

Watership Down (1972), a best-selling epic tale about a family of rabbits in search of a new home, is Adams’ most famous piece. It became a New York Times best-seller and a staple in high-school English courses, and there are now about 50 million copies in print in 18 languages.


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Other books he wrote include The Plague Dogs (1977), about two canine fugitives from an experimental lab; Traveller (1988), a Civil War chronicle from the viewpoint of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s horse; and Tales from Watership Down (1996), a sequel collection of stories. His autobiography, The Day Gone By appeared in 1990.