Frederic Raphael

Not a Great Writer but a Bit of a Word Painter

Lawrence Durrell: A Biography

By

Faber & Faber 832pp £25 order from our bookshop

Boasting Irish origins: and born in India in 1912, Lawrence Durrell was a product of the British Empire and of its more or less glorious decline. The Alexandria Quartet, his greatest (and only durable?) work of fiction, began to be published in 1957, by which time the world which it depicted had already been disassembled by enosis in Cyprus and by the fiasco of Suez.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,