The Durrells was a hit series for ITV last year, happily filling the gap left on Sunday evenings by the end of Downton Abbey, presenting a real family, with its jokes, squabbles and obsessions. It boosted interest in the books of the Durrell family – mainly Gerald’s, since it was based on his Corfu Trilogy, the first volume of which, My Family and Other Animals, was published in 1956. Milo Parker, aged thirteen, played young Gerry, a collector of scorpions and frogs: ‘Leaf to bud, caterpillar to butterfly, tadpole to toad or frog, I was surrounded by miracles.’ A Greek actor played Spiro, the delightful taxi driver and fixer without whom the Durrells would have been quite lost.
The imminent second series, written, like the first, by Simon Nye, is as welcome as spring. Hence this book, a tie-in with the series. The author, Michael Haag, is acquainted with the family. He is currently writing a biography of Lawrence Durrell and has had access to autobiographical notes written