Monday, December 25, 2017

Durrell Loses Control Of His Story

As a blogger, I find that what I write doesn't always go the way I planned.  Thus, while visiting someone today, when I picked up  Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals from their bookshelf and read the introduction, I could sympathize.
"This is the story of a five-year sojourn that I and my family made on the Greek island of Corfu.  It was originally intended to be a mildly nostalgic account of the natural history of the island, but I made a grave mistake by introducing my family into the book in the first few pages.  Having got themselves on paper, they then proceeded to establish themselves and invite friends to share the chapters.  It was only with the greatest difficulty, and by exercising considerable cunning, that I managed to retain a few pages here and there which I cold devote exclusively to animals."

I knew who Lawrence Durrell was, but not Gerald.  It turns out he was Lawrence's younger brother, but also a well known animal conservationist in his own right.  Here's Wikipedia's bio.


  1. I loved Gerald's stories. They were very much a piece of their time, but his love for the animals came through on every page.

  2. The British TV did an utterly charming series on the Durrells' life on Corfu. Just finished seeing Season Two. It may be out on DVD.
    What came through Gerald's book to me was his brother Lawrence -- a narcisstic jerk (not a kind word, ever). Cynical, mean and boring.
    The TV series toned him down.

  3. Have you not caught PBS'"Durrells in Corfu"? Gerald is portrayed as a young, very dirty, animal collector in a very quirky family. On its third season now.

    1. Thanks for the news of a third season. Yeah! In Canada we get these a year later than in the UK.

  4. Obviously there's so much stuff out there to watch I just can't keep up. This was an old collection of books - some classics, some that were popular for a while - and I figured this was one that had faded from view, but I liked the opening paragraph. Thanks all for catching me up.


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