The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts is the work of well known children's author Hugh Lofting. This book is the first in Lofting's series of novels featuring John Dolittle, a doctor who is able to speak to animals, and has since become a classic of children's literature.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle is the reader's introduction to John Dolittle, a character featured in more than ten novels written by Lofting. A practicing medical doctor, Dolittle changes career paths and becomes a veterinarian upon being taught to speak with animals by his pet parrot. This novel tells the tale of Dolittle's voyage to Africa to cure a tribe of monkeys inflicted with a deadly virus. After the pursuing adventures the novel concludes with Dolittle's return to his English village and retirement, which sets the stage for the future novels in Lofting's collection.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle is a classic children's tale. The greatest appeal is of course the talking animals, to which Lofting has given distinct personalities and manners of speaking. It should be noted that this republication is of the original version, and thus contains some plot elements that may be considered controversial by modern standards. These elements are a clear indication of the time and place in which this novel was conceived – colonial England in the early twentieth century.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts is one of the most well known works of children's literature and serves as the introduction to a beloved character. It is a classic novel and one that holds appeal for both children and adults. Fans of the character owe it to themselves to read Lofting's novel and to familiarize themselves with the first tale of Dolittle.