About the Authors
Hugh John Lofting (1886–1947), born in Berkshire and educated at a Jesuit boarding-school in Derbyshire, trained first as an architect and later as a civil engineer. His children’s stories originated in the illustrated letters he sent to his family from the front in World War I. The Story of Dr. Doolittle, the first of his series, appeared in 1920 and won instant success.
From 1922 to 1928 he wrote one Dr. Dolittle book a year, and these seven are considered the best of the series. The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle (1922) won the Newbery Medal as the best children’s book of the year. Wearying of his hero, Lofting tried to get rid of him by sending him to the moon (Dr. Dolittle in the Moon, 1928), but popular demand compelled him to write Dr. Dolittle’s Return in 1933. The last book of the series was published posthumously.