The Durrells of Corfu

Michael Haag

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The Durrells of Corfu

The Durrells of Corfu By Michael Haag The Durrells of Corfu Simon Nye s TV series The Durrells is based loosely on Gerald Durrell s Corfu Trilogy and in particular his much loved bestseller My Family and Other Animals These books in turn are based somewhat

  • Title: The Durrells of Corfu
  • Author: Michael Haag
  • ISBN: 9781781257883
  • Page: 470
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Durrells of Corfu By Michael Haag Simon Nye s TV series, The Durrells, is based loosely on Gerald Durrell s Corfu Trilogy and in particular his much loved bestseller, My Family and Other Animals These books in turn are based somewhat loosely on actual events The real life Durrells went to Corfu at the urging of Lawrence Durrell, who was already living on the island with his wife, Nancy Myers Their intenSimon Nye s TV series, The Durrells, is based loosely on Gerald Durrell s Corfu Trilogy and in particular his much loved bestseller, My Family and Other Animals These books in turn are based somewhat loosely on actual events The real life Durrells went to Corfu at the urging of Lawrence Durrell, who was already living on the island with his wife, Nancy Myers Their intent was to keep the family together as his mother, Louisa, was drinking heavily and recovering from a breakdown We can be proud of the way we brought her up, Larry said, only half jokingly, of the family s subsequent Corfu sojourn Michael Haag s book covers the background to the Durrell family s years in Corfu, including their time in India, where all the children were born, and where their father, a brilliant civil engineer, had died It recalls the real life characters the Durrells encountered on Corfu, notably the biologist and poet Theodore Stephanides, and the taxi driver, Spiros Halikiopoulos And Haag tells the story of how the Durrells left Corfu, including Margo s return intent on joining the Greek resistance, and Leslie s romance in England with the family s Corfite maid and friend, Maria Kondos Further chapters cover what happened to the family in later life here, Lawrence and Gerald Durrell s biographies are well known, but little has previously been written of Margo, Leslie and Louisa Haag has fascinating stories to tell of them all.
    The Durrells of Corfu By Michael Haag

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    One thought on “The Durrells of Corfu

    1. Margaret on said:

      Very interesting look at the Durrells.The amazing thing was discovering that Gerald Durrell s My Family and Other Animals wasn t actually THAT much of an exaggeration

    2. Stephen on said:

      This book found very interesting as it was a mixture of family interviews and research gives us an idea of the Durrell family from the origins in India to England Jersey via Corfu and through some of the books published by Gerald and Lawerence Where myth and fact maybe different in context of the stories we read about the family in Corfu The book itself was delightful with family photographs included too and a relatively light read too.

    3. Robert on said:

      When we moved to Malta from Canada in 1992, my parents took one box of books with them I gave my sizable collection to a school library One day in March I was complaining that I wanted something to read, so my dad went to the box as we didn t have shelves yet and pulled out My Family and Other Animals I devoured it in a couple of weeks and spent the rest of 1992 hunting Gerald Durrell s other books but to this day My Family remains one of Durrell s best books.For those who don t know the story, [...]

    4. Caren on said:

      I was totally hooked on the two seasons Masterpiece did on PBS, The Durrells in Corfu The series is loosely based on the memoirs of the Durrell s youngest son, Gerald, who became a naturalist This book provides interesting background info on the family I found it helpful to know that they had lived in India, all of the four children having been born there That explained why a move to England, after the death of the father who had worked as a civil engineer for the British empire in India , was s [...]

    5. Erika on said:

      Gerald Durrell is one of my personal heroes, so I was delighted to come across this book at a shop while waiting for a flight It is the story of the Durrell family and their lives in India, England and Corfu, and gives some great background knowledge to Gerald s other books, including the reason why they left India in the first place For anyone who hasn t read any of the Durrells books, I would still recommend this book, as the Durrells lived fascinating lives so it is a great story regardless o [...]

    6. Elizabeth (Merely Reading) on said:

      This is an interesting companion piece to Gerald Durrell s Corfu trilogy I had read My Family and Other Animals immediately before reading this and that book and events from it are quoted extensively The author was apparently a friend of the family, particularly Lawrence Durrell, so it made for a very interesting retelling of his years on Corfu What Gerald Durrell didn t say was that Lawrence was already married and didn t live with the family, preferring to rent rooms elsewhere with his wife An [...]

    7. Joan Colby on said:

      An interesting look at the real Durrells and their lives prior to, during and after their sojourn in Corfu The books and TV version are not far off in their portraits All the children had multiple marriages and fairly successful careers especially Gerald as a zoologist and writer, and Lawrence as a literary maven Margo too had adventures and wrote at least one book Leslie continued his bad boy ways, but managed to stay out of jail The family were famous for their unconventional lifestyle and rea [...]

    8. Alice on said:

      The facts behind Gerald Durrell s romantic and hilarious account of the time his family Mother, two brothers, sister, dog spent on Corfu in the prewar years Despite some omissions and changes for the sake of a good story, much of it happened the way Durrell describes it everyone will be cheered and relieved to learn that Spiro and Theo are absolutely real Especially interesting to me were the bits about Bournemouth, where I grew up, and Norwood, where I live now.

    9. Kay on said:

      I had read a rather negative review of this book, along the lines that there was nothing new in it and it was totally unnecessary I disagree This was a really interesting account of the Durrells, concentrating on their time in Corfu, but giving an outline of their lives before and after that time The writer had access to family photographs and also to some of Gerald s drawings which added greatly to the text My Family and Other Animals is a wonderful read, but you know that as Gerald was relativ [...]

    10. Eddie Clarke on said:

      A brief and charming family biography, focussing very closely on the Corfu years, and wonderfully illustrated Haag tactfully corrects the fabrications and omissions in Lawrence s and Gerald s accounts A good, swift introduction.

    11. Kirsty on said:

      For a biography which follows a lot of people, I found Michael Haag s Thw Durrells of Corfu rather brief It was not as engaging as I was expecting it to be, and some elements seemed skimmed over Overall, however, it was nice enough, and some of the photographic inclusions were nothing short of charming.

    12. Jon on said:

      A very slight book read in two hours flat that doesn t do justice to the subject Rattling through the lives of the Durrells and their friends at such a frenetic pace did them no favours Will add information and background for readers who know them only from Lawrence and Gerald s books, but quite frankly it reads like a not very extended entry, padded with too many extracts from said books I paid 2.36 for it, and it s not worth that, even.

    13. Saturday's Child on said:

      Having recently read and thoroughly enjoyed My Family and Other Animals by Gerald I found that this was a great follow up read I now know about not only the Durrell family but also the people they met during the time they spent living in Corfu.

    14. Jeff Howells on said:

      Following on from reading the Corfu Trilogy earlier in the year I picked up this biography which I suspect will be a best seller due to the Durrells TV series It is mainly covers the family s time in Corfu but actually I found the bits that covers their early years in India England before moving to the island and then the period after they left Corfu at the outbreak of war interesting This is mainly because Michael Haag quotes liberally from Gerald Durrells trilogy which is quite lazy There are [...]

    15. Kat Mills on said:

      Disappointing, despite the collection of nude sunbathing pictures of early 20th c Literary Men Although tbh I was not panting to see Henry Miller in, as it were, the flesh I m a little surprised this made it out the door of a publishing house, actually I m very, very familiar with the work of Gerald Durrell my favourite book when I was six was My Family and Other Animals, and I ve re read his works a great many times A considerable part of Haag s biography seems to consist of let s say very ligh [...]

    16. Ljiljana Malovic on said:

      I first learned about the Durrells watching the TV adaptation on BBC a couple od months ago When I saw this book in a book store, I was intrigued to find out about their lives.This particular book is illustrated with family photos, many of them reproduced in the book for the first time, which, in my opinion, brings the entire family even closer to the reader.When I started to read it, I frequently found myself in a situation where I couldn t stop laughing at certain descriptions, or dialogues o [...]

    17. Melissa Kane on said:

      If you ve ever wondered how true My Family and Other Animals is to the life that Gerald and the other Durrells lived in Corfu in the 1930s, then this book sets the record straight And while there were embellishments and Gerry wasn t the one who had all the experiences himself, the family certainly lived a very unconventional, chaotic and bohemian life one that did indeed involve water snakes in the bath, scorpions on the dinner table and befriending a murderer down on the beach Not only does the [...]

    18. Agnesxnitt on said:

      Having watched 2 dramatised versions of My Family and other Animals , I was intrigued about what the Durrells really got up to in Corfu They seem a complicated family in many ways, but as we only have the books from Gerald Durrell, the youngest son, to base our ideas on, you can never be too sure one person s childhood and teenage perception is very different to their later adult views on the same events.This was a really good book, the author explaining how the parents of Gerald et al met in In [...]

    19. T.J. Green on said:

      Years ago, when I was studying for my English O Level, we studied My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, and it was hilarious It was that book which made me aware of Lawrence Durrell and his writing, so that when I saw Monsieur, the first book of the Avignon Quintet out in bookstores I snapped it up, and as you know, that set off my life long love affair with Lawrence Durrell.Anyway, this book takes you behind the scenes of the time the family spent on Corfu It starts with an overall vie [...]

    20. Connor Hansford on said:

      Beautiful and ebullient and so, so fun The TV show The Durrells accurately follows the lives of the real Durrells, albeit for a few, superficial enhancements which I ve no doubt Gerry enhancer supreme would ve approved of There is something here for everyone the historian, naturalist, aspiring zoologist will of course delight in the adolescent adventures of renowned conservationist and author of My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell The roguish, gun obsessive will respond familiarly to the [...]

    21. Cindy Tomamichel on said:

      A great behind the scenes view of the complex and entertaining Durrell family For anyone who has read and enjoyed Gerry Durrell s books on Corfu, this expands and explains some of the people and characters, without destroying the magic If anything, knowing makes the books enjoyable I have always wanted to know about Theo for instance, and found out enough in this book to make him an even admirable person.So this book provides an insight into a unique and creative family, with all the charms [...]

    22. Julia on said:

      Interesting background bookI decided to read this after watching the recent TV series The Durrells and choosing My Family and other Animals as my reading group book Was good to learn about the family and to discover just how much of the book was fictional and of course getting a true picture of his family was interesting Book has lots of quotations from My Family which at times got annoying perhaps because I had only just read it Author also repeated himself a few times at first I accepted as r [...]

    23. Julie on said:

      I don t know much about the Durrells except from what I have seen on the fictionalized show that has been on television in recent years This little book talks about the family and their real life adventures How they left India to settle first in the UK and then to move for a couple of years to Corfu Although interesting to hear the reality of their situation I found I was somewhat slightly irritated by them all, that there seemed to be a few idyllic summers on the Greek island, with an every cha [...]

    24. Stephen Hamilton on said:

      This was fascinating I always knew that My Family and Other Animals and the rest of the Corfu trilogy was heavily fictionalised but I hadn t realised quite how much And at that same time, how much of it hadn t been I m not convinced that this account is entirely fictional, as much of it consists of people s recollections of events including one preposterously snobbish pantomime villain but most of it has the ring of truth The real joy in this book isn t in the debunking of Gerald Durrell s anecd [...]

    25. Ryan Murdock on said:

      A wonderful book I ve read everything in print by Lawrence Durrell, as well as every collection of letters, every biography, and all of the critical works on his writing Michael Haag s book is a wonderful, lively addition to this field He brings their story to life, and he covers some new ground, and includes several photos from the Durrell archive that I had not seen I closed the back cover wishing for .

    26. allbooksnoheart on said:

      A nice supplement to the writings of Gerry and Lawrence Durrell, filling in gaps and telling additional stories about the family and their time in Cofu and beyond I first read Gerald Durrell s Corfu books when I was seven years old so it was great to revisit the story and see what else was going on that didn t make it into the books, and find out about people mentioned like Theodore s life and family and Spiro s.

    27. BookQueen on said:

      I read this book in two days It was fascinating and I wish it could have been longer I tried to read it slowly but to no avail If My Family and Other Animals is one of your favourite books, this is a must read The book gives the background and back stories of all the main characters and their real life exploits before and after WWII, which are just as captivating as the book I was glad to see piccies of Roger the dog

    28. lucyblack on said:

      I really liked this realistic but still entertaining account of the Durrell family and their lives There was a bit too much of a focus on Gerald for me but I liked that the author tried to cover Margot and Leslie a bit I ll definitely try read by and about these bohemian genius posh freaks.

    29. Pru Jones on said:

      I enjoyed reading about the Durrell family from India up to present times My favourite book is My family and other animals which I read as a child I loved looking at family photos and reading about behind the scenes opinions of the Durrell family from their acquaintances throughout their lives.

    30. Pamela on said:

      InterestingI first saw The Durrells in Corfu as a PBS masterpiece television show I fell in love with this messy family AND Corfu As I searched for information about both I discovered this wonderful read You get a sense that you know these people after reading this book and I just relished the experience.

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