Sunday, 3 April 2016

GERALD DURRELL - MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS


Gerald Durrell (right) Lawrence Durrell (left) on the island of Jersey.

Gerald Durrel's brother Lawrence may have been a spy. 

Lawrence Durrell spent several years in the service of the Foreign Office, which runs MI6.

During World War Two, Lawrence Durrell served as a press attach√© to the British Embassies in Cairo and then Alexandria. In 1948, Durrell was posted to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. This gave him material for his spy novel White Eagles over Serbia (1957).

TV drama - My Family and Other Animals.

Gerald Durrell was born in India in 1925.

Gerald's father was Lawrence Samuel Durrell who died in India in 1928.

Gerald's mother was Louisa Florence Dixie, who died in 1964.

Louisa 'was actively interested in spiritualism and cookery'.

In 1928, Louisa and the family  moved to London, and in 1931 they moved to Bournemouth.

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In 1935, Louisa and her children - Lawrence, Leslie, Margo, and Gerald - emigrated to Corfu.

The family lived on Corfu until 1939. 

Gerald wrote My Family and Other Animals about his time on Corfu.

Durrell admits that the book is largely fiction.


Gerald Durrell

Gerald's mother Louisa liked to drank large quantities of gin and champagne.

dailymail

Gerald's siblings were sent to boarding school.

Gerald stayed at home with his mother.

Louisa felt lonely and considered suicide.

Louisa slept with Gerald.

They were very close.


Gerald Durrell and Henry Miller.

When Gerald was ten years old, Louisa had a nervous breakdown and went into a clinic.

Gerald was looked after by a governess.

The governess locked Gerald in his room at night without a bed pan.

Gerald's spaniel, his only friend, was run over by a car.

In 1931, Louisa and Gerald moved to Bournemouth.

Gerald was sent to Wychwood Prep School, which he hated.


TV drama - The Durrell FamilyMagical memoirs are turned into TV drama

Meanwhile, Gerald's brother Lawrence was living in London where he spent time 'whoring and drinking'.

When Lawrence and and his first wife Nancy moved to Corfu, Louisa and the whole family followed them.

Lawrence Durrell and Jean Fanchette.

Lawrence was a writer.

Lawrence divorced Nancy in 1947 and married Eve Cohen.

Their daughter Sapho killed herself in 1985.



Sappho's journals relate that Sapho had a sexual relationship with her father.

Lawrence was married four times.


Gerald Durrell

Leslie was the one who loved guns and hunting.

He had a baby with his mother's Greek maid.

The maid was dumped in a home for fallen women.

The child never got to know his father.

Leslie bought a fishing boat, which sank in Poole harbour before its maiden voyage.

Later, Leslie was involved in various 'semi-criminal enterprises'.

None of Lelie's siblings attended his funeral.


Gerald Durrell surrounded by kids, on the Island of Jersey.

In 1951, aged 26, Gerald married Jacquie Wolfenden, whom he met while dating three different ballerinas.

In 1964, Gerald opened the Durrell Wildlife Park on the island of Jersey, an island linked to child abuse rings.

By 1978, Gerald and Jacquie were divorced.

Gerald married Lee McGeorge, a 27-year-old zoology student from Memphis.

Lee could not stop Gerald from drinking, and he died, aged 70.


Gerald Durrell.

Gerald's great grandmother was Mahala Tye from Suffolk.

After the suicide of her first husband, William Durrell, Mahala gave birth to 'an illegitimate son'.

The biological father of this illegitimate son was Samuel Stearne. 

Gerald, the auther of My Family and Other Animals, was thus descended from Samuel Stearne.

Gerald Durrell - The New York Times.

3 comments:

  1. As God is my witness :-)

    Yesterday I bought the complete set of DVDs Brideshead Revisited which I adored in my misty-eyed romanticist young adulthood in the 1980's
    I also read and adored the innocent joie-de-vivre described in My Family and Other Animals
    I gave it to my then-young sons to read; we really believed such lovely, clever, free-thinking families (as in Animals...) existed.
    I had no idea of the true depth of darkness in Brideshead...at that time. Even now, Claire Bloom's impeccable seeming graciousness does a fantastic job at hiding her true pathology, projected onto the doomed 'Sebastian'.

    How conned we all were
    And now we know.Thanks as ever Aangirfan xx

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  2. Ahh Jersey, the high profile paedophile Isle that neither time nor money can ever erase. God bless the "Morning Cloud" and "ALL" that were raped, murdered, and thrown overboard!!!

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  3. Animals sounds about right.

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