Books

Birds, Beasts and Relatives

Gerald Durrell

The follow up to My Family and Other Animals and the second book in The Corfu Trilogy, the beloved books that inspired ITV's television series The Durrells.

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.

The Garden of the Gods

Durrell Gerald (and others)

The third book in The Corfu Trilogy (after My Family and Other Animals and Birds, Beasts and Relatives), the beloved books that inspired ITV's television series The Durrells.

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.

My Family and Other Animals

Gerald Durrell

My Family and Other Animals is 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

My Family and Other Animals

Gerald Durrell

Ten-year-old Gerald doesn't know why his older brothers and sisters complain so much. With snakes in the bath and scorpions on the lunch table, the family home on the Greek island of Corfu is a bit like a zoo so they should feel right at home...
Gerald joyfully pursues his interest in natural history in the midsts of an unconventional and chaotic family life - all brilliantly retold in this very funny book.

The Aye-Aye and I

Gerald Durrell

'In the gloom it came along the branches towards me, its round, hypnotic eyes blazing, its spoon-like ears turning to and fro independently like radar dishes . . . it was Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky come to life . . . one of the most incredible creatures I had ever been privileged to meet.'

The fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar is home to woodlice the size of golf balls, moths the size of Regency fans and the Aye-Aye, a type of lemur held by local superstion to be an omen of death. But when Gerald Durrell visited the island, the destruction of the forests meant that the Aye-Aye and many other creatures were in danger of extinction.
Told with his unique sense of humour and inimitable charm, Gerald Durrell's The Aye Aye and I is the final adventure from one Britain's best loved conservationists.

Encounters with Animals

Gerald Durrell

'I once travelled back from Africa on a ship with an Irish captain who did not like animals. This was unfortunate, because most of my luggage consisted of about two hundred odd cages of assorted wildlife . . .'

Gerald Durrell's accounts of the animals he encountered on his travels were some of the first widely shared descriptions of the world's most extraordinary animals.

Moving from the West Coast of Africa to the northern tip of South America - and elsewhere - Durrell observes the courtships, wars and characters of a variety of creatures, from birds of paradise, to ants and anteaters, among others.

The Whispering Land

Gerald Durrell

'When you have a large collection of animals to transport from one end of the world to the other you cannot, as a lot of people seem to think, just hoist them aboard the nearest ship and set off with a gay wave of your hand.'

Gerald Durrell and his wife are the proud owners of a small zoo on the island of Jersey. But there's one thing that's better than a small zoo - a bigger one! So Durrell heads off to South America to collect more animals.

Along windswept Patagonian shores and in Argentine tropical forests, he encounters a range of animals from penguins to elephant seals. But as always, he is drawn to those rare and interesting creatures which he hopes will thrive and breed in captivity . . .

Told with enthusiasm and without sentimentality, Gerald Durrell's The Whispering Land is an often hilarious but always inspiring foray into the South American wilds.

A Zoo in My Luggage

Gerald Durrell

'For many years I had wanted to start a zoo . . . any reasonable person smitten with an ambition of this sort would have secured the zoo first and obtained the animals afterwards. but throughout my life I have rarely if ever achieved what I wanted by tackling it in a logical fashion.'

A Zoo in My Luggage is Gerald Durrell's account of his attempt to set up his own zoo, after years spent gathering animals for other zoos. Journeying to Cameroon, he and his wife collected numerous mammals, birds and reptiles, including Cholmondely the chimpanzee and Bug-eye the bush-baby.

But their problems really began when they attempted to return with their exotic menagerie. Not only had they to get them safely home to Britain but they also had to find somewhere able and - most of all - willing to house them.

Told with wit and a zest for all things furry and feathered, Gerald Durrell's A Zoo in My Luggage is a brilliant account of how a pioneer of wildlife preservation came to found a new type of zoo.

The Corfu Trilogy

Gerald Durrell

The trilogy that inspired ITV's television 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.

Durrell's memories of those enchanted days gave rise to these three classic tales, loved by generations of adults and children alike, which are now available in one volume for the first time.

'He has an uncanny knack of discovering human as well as animal eccentrics' Sunday Telegraph

'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

Biography

Gerald Durrell was born in Jamshedpur, India, in 1925. He returned to England in 1928 before settling on the island of Corfu with his family. In 1945 he joined the staff of Whipsnade Park as a student keeper, and in 1947 he led his first animal-collecting expedition to the Cameroons. He later undertook numerous further expeditions, visiting Paraguay, Argentina, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Mauritius, Assam and Madagascar. His first television programme, Two in the Bush¸ which documented his travels to New Zealand, Australia and Malaya was made in 1962; he went on to make seventy programmes about his trips around the world. In 1959 he founded the Jersey Zoological Park, and in 1964 he founded the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust. He was awarded the OBE in 1982. Encouraged to write about his life's work by his brother, Durrell published his first book, The Overloaded Ark, in 1953. It soon became a bestseller and he went on to write thirty-six other titles, including My Family and Other Animals, The Bafut Beagles, Encounters with Animals, The Drunken Forest, A Zoo in My Luggage, The Whispering Land, Menagerie Manor, The Amateur Naturalist and The Aye-Aye and I. Gerald Durrell died in 1995.