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Hugh Lofting created the now famous Doctor John Doolittle after having written a very large series of adventure books related to this fictional character. All started in 1920 with the publication of the first book The Story of Doctor Doolittle and ended in numerous celebrated adaptations to cartoons, cinema and music. In the present volume, the protagonist, who lives in the fictional village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh in the West Country, is a medical doctor who is much closer to animals than to human patients. He always feels that he understands animal nature and language much more than he understands the unnatural world of humans. Compared to the spontaneous existence of birds, ducks, monkeys, pigs and squirrels, the life of human beings is either too cruel and bloody or too uninteresting. Loftings seemingly misanthropic attitude is mainly explained by the intense experience of the horrors of the First World War and the need to create pleasant characters and tales for children at those miserable times. His light style and fanciful creativity succeed in taking his readers into fantastic worlds and unimaginable horizons.

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