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Gerald Durrell

(1925 to 1995)

Gerald Durrell Biography This is an excellent biography of Gerald Durrell by Douglas Botting.
The Best of Gerald Durrell A collection of Geralds's writings as chosen by his wife Lee.

Books

As well as a founder of Jersey Zoo Gerald Durrell was a very prolific author (writing 37 books) relating the trial and tribulations of his life as a conservationist in a very easy to read and humouress style.

To find out more about his books and to buy them click on the links below. Unfortunately at the present time many of his books are not currently available.

 

The Overloaded Ark (1953) Relates Gerald's experiences and adventures during a 6-month expedition in West Africa (his first collecting trip to the Cameroons) to collect specimens for his zoo.   
Three Singles to Adventure (1954)/ 1964 Relates to collecting animals in British Guiana (called Three Tickets to Adventure in the US).   
The Bafut Beagles (1954) A return visit to the Cameroons.  
The New Noah (1955) A collection of stories for children about his trips to the Cameroons, Guiana and Paraguay.  
The Drunken Forest (1956)/ (1978) Animal collecting trip to Argentina and Paraguay.  
My Family and Other Animals (1956) The azure skies, the olive groves and the mountains of Corfu provide the stunning setting for My Family and Other Animals. Here, the Durrell family live in chaotic harmony, welcoming a constant stream of eccentric visitors to their villa. This island paradise is exquisitely described by the keen young naturalist, Gerald. With a sense of wonder he evokes the magical world of the creatures he observes and collects: chameleon spiders, cicadas, tortoises, toads, fireflies and scorpions. Written with wit and insight, Gerald Durrell masterfully captures the excitement and awe he feels at the natural world around him. The first of his three books about the Durrell family in Corfu.
Encounters with Animals (1958) Entertaining accounts of the courtships, wars and characters of animals encountered in West Africa, South America, and elsewhere. A result of requests from listeners to his BBC radio programmes. 
A Zoo in my Luggage (1960) An account of his third trip to the Cameroons, resulting in the founding of Jersey zoo. 
Island Zoo (1961) A children's guide, with photographs, about the first animals to arrive at the Jersey Zoo.  
Look at Zoos (1961) A young person's guide to a zoo.  
The Whispering Land (1961)(1975) A major collecting trip to Argentina, resulting in many new animals for the Jersey Zoo. 
My Favourite Animal Stories (1962)   
Menagerie Manor (1964) Menagerie Manor is Gerald and Jacquie Durrell's account of how they set up their zoo in Jersey. Surrounded by a team of devoted helpers, this is a tale of teamwork and devotion to the cause. Besides the human dramas, Durrell reveals a host of fascinating practical details about animal health and behaviour, as well as stories of the individual animals themselves. This is an extremely entertaining and informative book chronicling the fulfilment of Gerald Durrell's lifelong ambition.
Two in the Bush (1966)  Relates to a visit to New Zealand, Australia and Malaya with the BBC Natural History Unit.  
The Donkey Rustlers (1968) A childrens story.  
Rosy is My Relative (1968) A novel, which features an amazing elephant.
Birds, Beasts and Relatives (1969) The Durrell family returns to live on the island of Corfu, and they continue the story begun in My Family and Other Animals. Already an ardent naturalist at the age of ten, the young Gerald lives in an unconventional and disordered household with his mother, sister and two brothers. Convivial and open, the family plays host to a constant stream of quirky guests. But for Gerald, the main attraction is the wildlife of Corfu. In the sun-lit olive groves or along the dusty roads lined with ancient cypresses, he spends hours observing and marvelling at the natural environment around him, watching busy lines of ants or peering down the burrows of trap-door spiders. He describes the midnight fishing trips, the collecting expeditions and the island's natural beauty with a child-like wonder that he never fails to impart to his reader.

A companion volume to "My Family and Other Animals".  

Fillets of Plaice (1971) A collection of short stories. 
Catch me a Colobus (1972) Anecdotes of Gerald's journeys to collect animal species in Sierra Leone and Mexico, primarily the colobus monkey.
Beasts in My Belfry (1973) Experiences as a student keeper at Whipsnade.  
The Talking Parcel (1974) (Called The Battle for Castle Cockatrice in the US)  A story for children. 
The Stationary Ark (1976) A look at the role of zoological parks, in particular the one he created in Jersey.  
Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons (1977) Over millions of years, the island of Mauritius, in its isolated position in the Indian Ocean, developed a unique flora and fauna. But when man arrived with his attendant scourges of dog, rat, pig and monkey, he wreaked havoc upon the island's delicate ecosystem, an action which led, amongst other things, to the extinction of the dodo. In co-operation with the Mauritian Government, Gerald Durrell and his team visited the island to help rescue some of the rapidly dwindling creatures from almost certain extinction. Durrell succeeded in taking some of these threatened animals to his Jersey sanctuary where they could live and breed in safety and from where their progeny could be reintroduced to their natural home. In this revealing and absorbing account of the preservation of endangered species, we also learn of the dangers and challenges this work can entail.
The Garden of the Gods (1978) The enchanted island of Corfu was home to Gerald Durrell and his family for five years before the Second World War. For the passionate young zoologist, Corfu was a natural paradise, teeming with strange birds and beasts that he could collect, watch and care for. But life was not without its problems - Gerald's family often objected to his animal-collecting activities, especially when the beasts wound up in the family's villa or even worse - the fridge. Gerald Durrell evokes his island paradise with the passion and wonder of a small boy in the concluding novel of the warm and humorous trilogy begun with My Family and Other Animals and Birds, Beasts and Relatives.
The Picnic and Suchlike Pandemonium (1979) A collection of anecdotes.  
The Mockery Bird (1981)  A novel with a conservation message.  
The Amateur Naturalist (1982) Written with his wife, Lee.  A lavishly illustrated guide on how to become a naturalist.  
Ark on the Move (1982) A brief look at Mauritius and Madagascar, based on the television series of the same title.
How to Shoot an Amateur Naturalist (1984) An account of experiences while filming "The Amateur Naturalist".  
Durrell in Russia (1986) (With Lee Durrell) An incredible journey through the nature reserves of the Soviet Union, illustrated with over 300 colour photographs.  
The Fantastic Flying Journey (1987) Children's adventure story.  
The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure (1989) Another children's adventure story.  
The Ark's Anniversary (1990)  An update on the conservation work of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.  
Keeper (1990) A boxer dog works as a zoo keeper in this story for children.  
Marrying Off Mother (1991) A collection of short stories.  
Toby the Tortoise (1991) A children's story.
The Aye-Aye and I (1992) Victim of 'slash and burn' agriculture, the aye-aye is threatened with extinction in its native Madagascar. Gerald Durrell and his wife, Lee, lead an expedition to the island to bring pairs of the endangered species into captivity and to start a breeding programme in their Jersey zoo. The Aye-aye and I is the tale of their hunt for the creature with the magical finger, but it is also the search for giant jumping rats, flat-tailed tortoises and gentle lemurs. From one of the most fascinating islands in the world, this is a compelling story of ecological destruction and the hope that conservation engenders.

Links

http://www.thewildones.org/gerald.html  

http://nhnh.essortment.com/geralddurrellb_rbzr.htm  

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/2007/durrell.html  

http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Canopy/6364/durrell.html  

http://www.durrellwildlife.org/index.cfm?a=51

 

Last Updated 31/01/2008

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