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The Durrells of Corfu Kindle Edition
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About the Author
'Family stories are worth telling, and this one is fascinatingly put together by Michael Haag. For few families present such an entertaining patchwork tale as the Durrells.' -Daily Mail
'Haag vividly evokes the time and the place with sumptuous descriptions ... [he] has written a love letter to an extraordinary family. As families and other animals go, the Durrells are a breed of their own.' - Daily Express
'Haag adds sadness and depth to a story that is superficially golden and charming, and which never stops being so. There is so much lustre here that nothing can tarnish it; the complications and grievances only make you admire the Durrells more. What a family, and what lives well lived' - Sunday Times --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B01KAEKJ2E
- Publisher : Profile Books; Main edition (April 20, 2017)
- Publication date : April 20, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 13783 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 225 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #72,846 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Anyway, this book takes you behind the scenes of the time the family spent on Corfu. It starts with an overall view of the family and what happened before Corfu, and at the end follows up what happened to them afterwards. I already knew a lot of what's in this book, but that's because I've done lots of reading around Larry, but there were some interesting facts that were illuminating. For example, money wasn't the main reason the family moved to Corfu, it was concern over Mother's drinking - she often took to gin when she was depressed and lonely. As Larry and his wife Nancy had already decided to go to Corfu, it seems they felt it important to keep an eye on her!
For those who haven't read much background on the family, you'll find it interesting, and also a little disturbing to find out just how much is fictionalised in a supposed non-fiction account of the family on Corfu. Recommended!
Top reviews from other countries
There is no doubt that Mrs Durrell had a hard time following the death of her husband but when I hear which schools the children were sent to in the UK , the houses they lived in she could not have been left destitute. The children seem to have taken little benefit from those schools. Louisa Durrell was not left an impoverished widow.
Talent some of them had in abundance; Lawrence, Gerald but they had lots of opportunity to develop.
Their situation would be a good advert for home schooling. Exposure to a second language, culture and interesting individuals from another culture.
Given the timeline when they moved to Corfu and how the spectre of war must have hung heavy on that much invaded island one could be forgiven for thinking they moved from the UK to Paris to Corfu via easyJet or must have been very wealthy.
Both Louisa and her husband were Indian colonials so I suppose that explains their high-handed attitude and their their expectations of life.
Guess I am still in love with the gentle, funny depiction of life portrayed in the tv series and I can’t expect that to relate how life really would have been.
The two outstanding characters are Spiro and Theo, the natural historian. They come across as real. So do the animals.
Boring Bournemouth or Corfu is a no-brainier.
Louisa Durrell was trying to do the best for her tribe of very different children and deserves a lot of credit for pulling them out of appalling British boarding schools and letting them see what real life might have been about.
I was bored apart from the odd chapter that dealt with Corfiotes. I don’t care what colour the villa was. I still have no real sense of why they chose Corfu and no idea what they contributed to the local/wider society.
I stuck it out.
I love travelogues and finding out about different cultures but I gained no sense of that.
In Corfu the local expat community had a somewhat dim view of this rather bohemian family who did not fit on to any of the recognised social groups and who were far too 'in' with the local population. There are a couple of glorious quotes, dripping with colonial snobbery, which basically says the Durrells didn't understand the social conventions & what was appropriate - I rather suspect they just didn't care about the views of a bunch of paralysingly dull ex-colonial snobs living out their twilight years in the Med!
There time in Corfu was short - just a few years. When the prospect of war reared its head they all left with Louisa, Gerry & Leslie returning to England, Margo taking one of the last flying boats out of Corfu just after Christmas 1939. Larry and is wife fled to Athens and remained in Greece until the Germans invaded in 1941 but neither ever returned to Corfu. We then learn of the family's post-Corfu lives including details about the less well-known siblings, Margo & Leslie.
In a counterpoint to usual parenting of the time, Louisa seems to have been very laissez-faire - tolerating her younger son's animal collections, her middle son's wildness and her elder child's bohemian lifestyle. Gerry, looking back, recalled that "...my mother allowed us to be" and he was never lectured nor scolded. Perhaps that explains why Gerry & Larry were successful in their chosen careers where a sense of enquiry & adventure, a certain daring & a free spirit, gave them an edge, even if there may have been darker under-currents.