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The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle

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Overview

Signet Classics is proud to add this all-time favorite, award-winning classic to its illustrious library. This famous adventure about the eccentric doctor with a special bond to animals is available here in its only, completely unabridged, original-text version. Always a favorite with younger audiences, the messages of humanity and environmental conservatism, and the rarity of the text, make this addition an ...
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The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle

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Overview

Signet Classics is proud to add this all-time favorite, award-winning classic to its illustrious library. This famous adventure about the eccentric doctor with a special bond to animals is available here in its only, completely unabridged, original-text version. Always a favorite with younger audiences, the messages of humanity and environmental conservatism, and the rarity of the text, make this addition an important one for all age groups, classrooms, and readers everywhere.

* The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle won the Newbery Medal in 1923
* The only unabridged, original-text version available-other editions have been abridged for young readers

When his colleague Long Arrow disappears, Dr. Dolittle sets off with his assistant, Tommy Stubbins, his dog, Jip, and Polynesia the parrot on an adventurous voyage over tropical seas to floating Spidermonkey Island.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Doctor Dolittle sets sail towards the mysterious Spider Monkey Island accompanied by by nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins. By Hugh Lofting. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781499276756
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2014
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 437,416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Lofting was born in Maidenhead, England, to English and Irish parents. His early education was at Mount St Mary's College in Sheffield, after which he went to the United States, completing a degree in civil engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He traveled widely as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Irish Guards to serve in World War I. Not wishing to write to his children of the brutality of the war, he wrote imaginative letters that were the foundation of the successful Doctor Dolittle novels for children. Seriously wounded in the war, he moved with his family to Connecticut in the United States. Lofting was married three times and had three children, one of whom, his son Christopher, is the executor of his literary estate.

Lofting commented, "For years it was a constant source of shock to me to find my writings amongst 'juveniles'. It does not bother me any more now, but I still feel there should be a category of 'seniles' to offset the epithet."

Hugh Lofting's doctor from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh who could speak to animals first saw light in the author's illustrated letters to children, written from the trenches during World War I when actual news, he later said, was either too horrible or too dull. The stories are set in early Victorian England, (in and 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, composed of short unpublished pieces, appeared. By their internal chronology the books stack up somewhat differently than the publishing order.
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Read an Excerpt

Part One

The First Chapter

The Cobbler's Son

My name was Tommy Stubbins, son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh; and I was nine and a half years old. At that time Puddleby was only quite a small town. A river ran through the middle of it; and over this river there was a very old stone bridge, called Kingsbridge, which led you from the marketplace on one side to the churchyard on the other.

Sailing ships came up this river from the sea and anchored near the bridge. I used to go down and watch the sailors unloading the ships upon the river wall. The sailors sang strange songs as they pulled upon the ropes; and I learned these songs by heart. And I would sit on the river wall with my feet dangling over the water and sing with the men, pretending to myself that I too was a sailor.

For I longed always to sail away with those brave ships when they turned their backs on Puddleby Church and went creeping down the river again, across the wide lonely marshes to the sea. I longed to go with them out into the world to seek my fortune in foreign lands -- Africa, India, China and Peru! When they got round the bend in the river and the water was hidden from view, you could still see their huge brown sails towering over the roofs of the town, moving onward slowly -- like some gentle giants that walked among the houses without noise. What strange things would they have seen, I wondered, when next they came back to anchor at Kingsbridge! And, dreaming of the lands I had never seen, I'd sit on there, watching till they were out of sight.

Three great friends I had in Puddleby in those days. One wasJoe, the mussel-man, who lived in a tiny hut by the edge of the water under the bridge. This old man was simply marvelous at making things. I never saw a man so clever with his hands. He used to mend my toy ships for me which I sailed upon the river; he built windmills out of packing cases and barrel staves; and he could make the most wonderful kites from old umbrellas.

Joe would sometimes take me in his mussel boat, and when the tide was running out we would paddle down the river as far as the edge of the sea to get mussels and lobsters to sell. And out there on the cold lonely marshes we would see wild geese flying, and curlews and redshanks and many other kinds of seabirds that live among the samfire and the long grass of the great salt fen. And as we crept up the river in the evening, when the tide had turned, we would see the lights on Kingsbridge twinkle in the dusk, reminding us of teatime and warm fires.

Another friend I had was Matthew Mugg, the Cat's-meat-Man. He was a funny old person with a bad squint. He looked rather awful but he was really quite nice to talk to. He knew everybody in Puddleby; and he knew all the dogs and all the cats. In those times being a Cat's-meat-Man was a regular business. And you could see one nearly any day going through the streets with a wooden tray full of pieces of meat stuck on skewers crying, "Meat! M-E-A-T!" People paid him to give this meat to their cats and dogs instead of feeding them on dog biscuits or the scraps from the table.

I enjoyed going round with old Matthew and seeing the cats and dogs come running to the garden gates whenever they heard his call. Sometimes he let me give the meat to the animals myself; and I thought this was great fun. He knew a lot about dogs and he would tell me the names of the different kinds as we went through the town. He had several dogs of his own; one, a whippet, was a very fast runner, and Matthew used to win prizes with her at the Saturday coursing races; another, a terrier, was a fine ratter. The Cat's-meat-Man used to make a business of rat-catching for the millers and farmers as well as his other trade of selling cat's-meat.

My third great friend was Luke the Hermit. But of him I will tell you more later on.

I did not go to school, because my father was not rich enough to send me. But I was extremely fond of animals. So I used to spend my time collecting birds' eggs and butterflies, fishing in the river, rambling through the countryside after blackberries and mushrooms and helping the mussel-man mend his nets.

Yes, it was a very pleasant life I lived in those days long ago -- though of course I did not think so then. I was nine and a half years old; and, like all boys, I wanted to grow up -- not knowing how well off I was with no cares and nothing to worry me. Always I longed for the time when I should be allowed to leave my father's house, to take passage in one of those brave ships, to sail down the river through the misty marshes to the sea-out into the world to seek my fortune.

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle. Copyright © by Hugh Lofting. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Polynesia

    Idon't like Polynesia too much. In the other version I have,she was better. In this version,she is quite crude. This is definately an adult vesion of a kid's book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    I LOVE DOCTOR DOLITTLE BOOKS

    Doctor Dolitte is great funny story about a doctor with the knowlage to talk to animals all around the world. I think this is a great book for children and adults around the world. I wonder what the athor is doing next. I hope it is a Doctor Dolitte book.Don't you? I LOVE FUNNY CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    LOVE IT

    LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    The ebook is available for free on Project Gutenberg, the one of

    The ebook is available for free on Project Gutenberg, the one of the largest collection of copyright free books. I am amazed that B&N are charging money for this. Even Amazon is offering it for free.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    R G

    Haventstarted

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    ?

    ?? ?????????????

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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