Watership Down,1974 New York Times Review

Prince with a thousand enemies

Watership Down by Richard Adams. “All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”

As a historian I find past opinion interesting it tells us a lot about how people approached subjects and how social tolerance can effect someones point of view. I showcased this recently in my post about the New York Times review for The Well of Loneliness. 

But what about historical book reviews regarding literature that has gone on to be treated as classics and sold millions of copies. Watership Down by Richard Adams has sold more than 50 million and is a phenomenal bestseller and a well-respected piece of literature.

So how did the New York Times fair this novel way back in 1974?

The following quotes are from the 1974 New York Times Review of Watership Down. Off cause it maybe that the novel fared much better in England than it did in America.

“Watership Down”, is in someway a delightful book, at times an affecting one.

Lacking high wit and imaginative force.

The book seems to be a good deal less than the “classic”

Not inspired that Rabbits exist.

The 1974 New York Times Book Review of Richard Adams Watership Down. (Copyright of the Newyork Times)

1974, New York Times Book Review, Watership Down

Watership Down, Richard Adams, New York times book review


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