Valerie Grove

His Family & Other Animals

The Durrells of Corfu

By

Profile Books 211pp £8.99 order from our bookshop

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.

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