Watership Down author Richard Adams has died aged 96, a statement on the book's official website has said.
He "passed away peacefully" at 10pm on Christmas Eve.
The statement said: "Richard's much-loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10pm on Christmas Eve."
Tributes have been pouring in on Twitter, with many fans referencing the beloved story about a group of young rabbits escaping from their doomed warren.
Watership Down was published in 1972.