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*The classic trilogy set in sun-soaked Corfu that inspired ITV's acclaimed TV series The Durrells*
Three classic tales of childhood on an island paradise - My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell - are available in a single edition for the first time in The Corfu Trilogy.
Just before the Second World War the Durrell family decamped to the glorious, sun-soaked island of Corfu where the youngest of the four children, ten-year-old Gerald, discovered his passion for animals: toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and octopuses. Through glorious silver-green olive groves and across brilliant-white beaches Gerry pursued his obsession . . . causing hilarity and mayhem in his ever-tolerant family.
'A delightful book full of simple, well-known things: cicadas in the olive groves, lamp fishing at night, the complexities of fish and animals - but, above all, childhood moulded by these things' New York Times
If you loved My Family and Other Animals and can’t get enough of the Durrells after the Corfu series, The Picnic and Suchlike Pandemonium is the book for you.
It constitutes a series of anecdotal snippets and short stories including ‘The Picnic’, a laugh-out-loud account of an ill-fated Durrell family excursion, which should have been a relaxing, jolly affair. But with the Durrells things are seldom straightforward and on this occasion all that could go wrong did go wrong – except Gerald Durrell's sense of humour in recounting the tale. Other hilarious and surreal Roald Dahlesque stories ensue, including the critically acclaimed Gothic horror story ‘The Entrance’.
Which of these stories is true and which is semi-true I have, of course, not the slightest intention of telling you, but I hope this will not detract from your enjoyment . . .
Gerald Durrell introduces an eccentric cast of characters in this entertaining collection of stories, first published in 1991.
In the title story, part of the inspiration behind the ITV drama The Durrells, we join his family in Corfu, where Gerry joins forces with Larry and Margo in encouraging Mother to consider finding a new husband, only to rue the consequences. Highlights from the other tales in this collection are the acquisition of a strongly perfumed pig named Esmerelda, a foul-mouthed parrot called Moses, and a compulsive gambler who inspires a miracle.
Written with Durrell's usual sharp eye for observing humour in a situation, Marrying Off Mother will delight fans both old and new.
'A renegade who was right . . . He was truly a man before his time' – David Attenborough
My Family and Other Animals is the first book in The Corfu Trilogy, the inspiration for ITV'sThe Durrells.
The bewitching account of a rare and magical childhood on the island of Corfu by treasured British conservationist Gerald Durrell
Escaping the ills of the British climate, the Durrell family - acne-ridden Margo, gun-toting Leslie, bookworm Lawrence and budding naturalist Gerry, along with their long-suffering mother and Roger the dog - take off for the island of Corfu.
But the Durrells find that, reluctantly, they must share their various villas with a menagerie of local fauna - among them scorpions, geckos, toads, bats and butterflies.
Recounted with immense humour and charm My Family and Other Animals is a wonderful account of a rare, magical childhood.
'Durrell has an uncanny knack of discovering human as well as animal eccentricities' Sunday Telegraph
'A bewitching book' Sunday Times
Follow the explorations and adventures of Gerald Durrell while he searches for birds, bats and reptiles on the island of Mauritius, in Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons.
Mauritius, the green and mountainous island in the Indian Ocean, was once the home of the ill-fated dodo, and by the 1970s it still had many unique but seriously endangered species. To rescue some of these creatures from extinction, Gerald Durrell spent uncomfortable nights in the jungle looking for bats and pink pigeons, and climbed near-vertical rock faces to find Telfair's skinks and Gunther's geckos, spending his spare time exploring the enchanted worlds of the coral reefs with their varied multicoloured marine life. By the end of his trip, he had an extraordinary collection of animals to take to his Jersey sanctuary from where the progeny could, in time, be restored to Mauritius.
Most children at the tender age of six or so are generally full of the most impractical schemes for becoming policemen, firemen or engine drivers when they grow up . . . I knew exactly what I was going to do: I was going to have my own zoo.
Menagerie Manor is the hugely entertaining account of how the much-loved conservationist and author Gerald Durrell fulfilled his lifelong ambition by founding his own private sanctuary for endangered species in Jersey with the help of an enduring wife, a selfless staff and a reluctant bank manager. With a foreword by Lee Durrell, Honorary Director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, this book about the trials and wonders of living in the middle of a zoo is a classic that will continue to bring pleasure to those who grew up reading Durrell, and deserves a whole new readership.
What we tried to do in Jersey is create a new sort of zoo. I think we have succeeded.
In The Stationary Ark Gerald Durrell describes his battles to create his vision of a new sort of zoo at Jersey with descriptions of his successes and failures with a liberal sprinkling of zoo animal tales on the way. Much of Gerald Durrell's long-standing basic captive breeding and conservation vision, which may, in this century, seem almost obvious, is set out here along with prophecies – just one almost throwaway instance: ‘In our next step, we plan to form the Trust into a kind of mini-university of wildlife husbandry and breeding’.
Even the most cautious of travellers would, I think, be thrilled at the idea of visiting a remote tropical island. There seems to be something about tropical islands that stirs the blood of even the most unadventurous souls.
Lying in the Indian Ocean, the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar – where millions of years of evolutionary isolation created a flora and fauna unique in the world – provide the exotic setting for Gerald Durrell's expeditionary rescue work with animals. In his personal and delightful way he entertains, educates and makes a dramatic appeal to us all about the distressing state of these beautiful and endangered species around the world and shows us the serious consequences to life and its future on this earth.
Ark on the Move is an exciting journey which also inspired an international television series based on the author's rescue and breeding operations.