Fans of Gerald Durrell’s timeless classic My Family and Other Animals will love this hilarious tale, which finds him as an adult still charmed by his beloved animals. A Zoo in My Luggage begins with an account of Durrell’s third trip to the British Cameroons in West Africa, during which he and his wife capture animals to start their own zoo. Returning to England with a few additions to their family—Cholmondeley the chimpanzee, Bug-eye the bush baby, and others—they have nowhere to put them as they haven’t yet secured a place for their zoo. Durrell’s account of how he manages his menagerie in all sorts of places throughout England while finding a permanent home for the animals provides as much adventure as capturing them. For animal lovers of all ages, A Zoo in My Luggage is the romping true story of the boy who grew up to make a Noah’s Ark of his own.
‘Even the most cautious of travelers would, I think, be thrilled at the idea of visiting a remote tropical island. There seems to be something about tropical islands that stirs the blood of even the most unadventurous souls.’
Lying in the Indian Ocean, the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar – where millions of years of evolutionary isolation created a flora and fauna unique in the world - provide the exotic setting for Gerald Durrell’s expeditionary rescue work with animals. In his personal and delightful way he entertains, educates and makes a dramatic appeal to us all about the distressing state of these beautiful and endangered species around the world and shows us the serious consequences to life and its future on this earth. This exciting journey also inspired an international television series based on the author’s rescue and breeding operations.
When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, gray English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the island but ended up as a delightful account of Durrell’s family’s experiences, from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies into their home.
Travel to the wilds of Cameroon with the conservationist whose work inspired Masterpiece production The Durrells in Corfu on public television.
In 1949, Gerald Durrell embarks with fellow zoologist Kenneth Smith on an expedition to collect rare animals in the British Cameroons in West Central Africa. There, he meets the Nero-like local ruler, the Fon of Bafut, who likes a man who can hold his liquor—will Durrell be able to get on his good side?
In this unique memoir, set off on a journey with the famed British naturalist’s group of hunters and his pack of motley hunting dogs as they encounter an array of exotic creatures, including flying mice, booming squirrels, a frog with a mysterious coat of hair, and teacup-size monkeys; and witness the joys and problems of collecting, keeping, and transporting wild animals from Africa to England.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author’s estate.
Menagerie Manor is sure to delight fans of Durrell’s beloved classic My Family and Other Animals and other accounts of his lifelong fascination with members of the animal kingdom. With his unfailing charm, Durrell tells the story of how he finally fulfilled his childhood dream of founding his own private zoo, the Manor of Les Augres, on the English Channel island of Jersey. With the help of an enduring wife, a selfless staff, and a reluctant bank manager, the zoo grows, and readers are treated to a colorful parade of the zoo’s unusual animal inhabitants.
Two in the Bush is a record of the six-month journey which took Gerald Durrell, his wife Jacquie, and two cameramen through New Zealand, Australia and Malaya. The object was, first, to see what was being done about the conservation of wild life in these countries, and, secondly, to make a series of television films for the BBC. They were introduced to many rare and remarkable animals – Royal Albatrosses, Tuataras, Duck-Billed Platypuses, Flying Lizards and Long-Nosed Bandicoots, as well as to some equally unusual humans.
Anyone who has read The Overloaded Ark, The Bafut Beagles or The Whispering Land will have enjoyed Gerald Durrell’s enthusiastic adventuring and his delight in the absurdity of the situations in which he finds himself. His observation of animal – and human – behaviour is always informative and often hilarious.
Gerald Durrell was one of Britain’s best-loved naturalists, whose books, including My Family and Other Animals, continue to entertain and amuse generations of children and adults alike. Fifteen of his classic titles have now been republished by Bello.
‘Delightfully readable and often very funny.’ *Daily Mail *
‘An account of Gerald Durrell’s tour of New Zealand, Australia and Malaya in search of rarities . . . Easy to read, difficult to put down, with many vivid sidelights on the human side of the expedition. This absorbing narrative reveals the ardours, ironies and disappointments, the organizational miracles and the hilarious human mishaps . . .’ Maurice Wiggin, *Sunday Times *
‘Mr Durrell has the knack of writing about animals and their antics with tremendous affection and enthusiasm, but without sentimentality.’ *Sunday Telegraph *
‘Will delight his fans and armchair naturalists everywhere.’ Evening Standard
Boa-Constrictors, paradoxical frogs, hoatzins, bush babies and tucotucos - they're all part of what Gerald Durrell casually calls his 'big family'. Each animal in his menagerie exhibits such curious habits and eccentricities. There was Cholmondely the chimpanzee, for example, who was 'king' of the collection, liked a good cigarette and his tea not too hot, but had a horror of snakes! Cuthbert the curassow loved to collapse across people's feet when they weren't looking.
Gerald Durrell describes not only the capture of these rare and exotic animals in Africa and South America, but also the problems of caging and feeding them. Footle, the moustached monkey, insisted on nose-diving into his milk, while the Kusimanses - nicknamed the Bandits - found Durrell's toes the most delectable thing in camp!
Gerald Durrell helped establish a model zoo on the Isle of Jersey, an experience that caused him to reconsider the whole question of wild animals in human hands.
"On one level, the book is about zoos. More profoundly, however, THE STATIONARY ARK is about the misuse of wild animals in captivity. Durrell's material reveals a fascinating blind spot in modern zoological thought, namely that we are almost completely ignorant about the important facts of many wild animals' lives." (Saturday Review)
If you loved My Family and Other Animals and can't get enough of the Durrells after the Corfu series, this is the book for you. It constitutes a series of anecdotal snippets and short stories including 'The Picnic', a laugh-out-loud account of an ill-fated Durrell family excursion, which should have been a relaxing, jolly affair. But with the Durrells things are seldom straightforward and on this occasion all that could go wrong did go wrong - except Gerald Durrell's sense of humour in recounting the tale. Other hilarious and surreal Roald Dahlesque stories ensue, including the critically acclaimed Gothic horror story 'The Entrance'.
'I once travelled back from Africa on a ship with an Irish captain who did not like animals. This was unfortunate, because most of my luggage consisted of about two hundred odd cages of assorted wildlife . . .'
Gerald Durrell's accounts of the animals he encountered on his travels were some of the first widely shared descriptions of the world's most extraordinary animals.
Moving from the West Coast of Africa to the northern tip of South America - and elsewhere - Durrell observes the courtships, wars and characters of a variety of creatures, from birds of paradise, to ants and anteaters, among others.
Told with his trademark charm and humour, Gerald Durrell's Encounters with Animals is a uniquely entertaining exploration of some of the world's most striking landscapes and the wildlife it is home to.
three singles to adventure takes the reader to south America, where he meets the sakiwinki and the sloth clad in bright green fur, where he can hear the horrifying sound of piranha fish on the rampage, or learn how to lasso a galloping anteater.
Over a year at Whipsnade Zoo we encounter a typically absurd cast - including Albert the lion, who's a dab hand at ventriloquism, and Teddy the brown bear, with whom the young Durrell sings duets. This is a charming account of Gerald Durrell's first job as a student keeper in WhipsnadePark in 1945. With notebook and pen in hand, the eager young Durrell observes his co-workers and animal charges alike. Whether getting dirty mucking out the buffalo enclosure or attempting to cajole a jitter-bugging gnus into a transportation crate, life at the zoo is certainly never boring.
A prolific author who never fails to be entertaining, Durrell brings us up to date on his Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust. Ever since he was six years old, Durrell knew he wanted to have his own zoo. How he accomplished that--and became a respected naturalist in the process--will delight readers. Demonstrating a talent for presenting strong conservation issues in a humorous and captivating way, Durrell covers not only the development of his private zoo but the associated education activities as well (including a school for conservationists from foreign countries). Dedicated to the idea that zoos need not be a "sterile Victorian menagerie", he has earned the respect of colleagues worldwide in showing how zoos can be a vital force in the conservation and reintroduction of threatened species to their native environments. Readers will also enjoy such amusing incidents as a visit from Princess Anne and the chimps that came to dinner. A title to put on your reading list for a lighthearted romp through the animal kingdom.
Rosy, the elephant bequeathed to young Adrian Rookwhistle by a reprobate relative, turned out to be a handful: not alone because of her size but also because of her fondness for strong drink. To Adrian she represented the chance to get away froma City shop and a suburban lodging by exploiting her theatrical talent and experience. To Rosy their progress towards the gayer South Coast resorts offered undreamed-of opportunities for drink and destruction. So the Monkspepper Hunt is driven to delirium and Lady Fenneltree's stately home reduced to a shambles. In due course the always efficient local constabulary caught up with the pair, whose ensuing trial was a like a triumph of the law and of the author's comic genius. The verdict was--but the story has to be read to be believed, if then. Even though the author does maintain that it is entirely credible, indeed that this, his first novel, is 'an almost true story'.
Durrell's hilarious and warm My Family and Other Animals (1957) began a trio of reminiscences of his life growing up with a slightly dotty family—the overbearing and omniscient Larry; the affectionate and loving siblings, Margot and Leslie; and, of course, the overburdened and patient Mother—on the island of Corfu in the 1930s, when a pound could buy a villa and life was conducted as a series of riotously high (and sometimes low) adventures. But what shines through these five vignettes is the author's engagement with and immense affection for animals in all their forms. From fish to fowl, from lizards to little water fleas (daphnia), Durrell's eye is acute and his prose is tart. You can read this book for the humor alone (for he did perceive his family as some rare and rarefied species), but between the lines you can discern the makings of a world-class naturalist and a cultivated and engaging writer.
'When you have a large collection of animals to transport from one end of the world to the other you cannot, as a lot of people seem to think, just hoist them aboard the nearest ship and set off with a gay wave of your hand.'
Gerald Durrell and his wife are the proud owners of a small zoo on the island of Jersey. But there's one thing that's better than a small zoo - a bigger one! So Durrell heads off to South America to collect more animals.
Along windswept Patagonian shores and in Argentine tropical forests, he encounters a range of animals from penguins to elephant seals. But as always, he is drawn to those rare and interesting creatures which he hopes will thrive and breed in captivity . . .
Told with enthusiasm and without sentimentality, Gerald Durrell's The Whispering Land is an often hilarious but always inspiring foray into the South American wilds.
Alla fine degli anni Ottanta Gerald Durrell intraprende una spedizione in Madagascar per catturare qualche esemplare di aye-aye, un lemure caratteristico della zona, e garantirne la riproduzione: «Lasciare che un essere così sorprendente e complesso si estingua è impensabile quanto bruciare un Rembrandt, trasformare la Cappella Sistina in una discoteca...». Giunto nell’isola, che gli appare come il profilo di una omelette mal rivoltata, Durrell si mette subito sulle tracce dei misteriosi lemuri. E dopo una visita al mercato locale, dove, sotto gli ombrelloni bianchi fitti come un campo di funghi, sono appesi polli simili a piumini viventi, salva il primo esemplare, altrimenti destinato alle pentole di un’abile massaia indigena. Con il suo incantevole humour, Durrell sa trasformare ogni aspetto dell’indagine scientifica in avventura, in racconto: anche lo studio del vocabolario dei lemuri, con i loro «pop», i miagolii e le fusa gattesche, gli uggiolii canini e i ringhi da tigre. I protagonisti sono sempre gli animali, osservati con occhio ironico e ammirato: flemmatiche oche egiziane in completo di tweed, pappagalli sfavillanti come bigiotteria a buon mercato, felini che paiono incarnare la versione malgascia della Pantera Rosa. E lo stesso occhio amabile e divertito si posa sugli umani, descritti in un compulsivo shopping natalizio tra bancarelle di scimmie infiocchettate e maialini multicolori. Io e i lemuri è apparso per la prima volta nel 1992.
On this speck of volcanic soil in the middle of a vast sea, a complete, unique and peaceful world was created slowly and carefully. It waited there for hundreds of thousands of years for an annihilating invasion of voracious animals for which it was totally unprepared, a cohort of rapacious beasts led by the worst predator in the world, Homo sapiens . . . In an incredibly short space of time, a number of unique species had vanished . . . ' Mauritius, the green and mountainous island in the Indian Ocean, was once the home of the ill-fated dodo, and by the 1970s it still had many unique but endangered species, hanging onto their existence by their fingernails.When Gerald Durrell went to rescue some of these creatures from extinction, he experienced danger and discomfort, but enjoyed the adventures greatly. He spent nights in the jungle looking for bats and pink pigeons, and climbed near-vertical rock faces to find Telfair's skinks and Gunther's geckos, spending his spare time exploring the enchanted worlds of the coral reefs with their many species of multicoloured fish. By the end of his trip, he had an extraordinary collection of animals to take to his Jersey sanctuary from where the progeny could, in time, be restored to Mauritius.
The Argentine pampas and the Chaco territory of Paraguay provide the setting for The Drunken Forest. With Durrell for interpreter, an orange armadillo, or a horned toad, or a crab-eating raccoon, or a baby giant anteater suddenly discovers the ability not merely to set you laughing but actually to endear itself to you.
- Oven-birds and burrowing owls
- Eggbert and the Terrible Twins
- Fields of flying flowers
- The orange armadillos
- Bevy of bichos
- Fawns, frogs, and fer-de-lance
- Terrible toads and a bushel of birds
- The four-eyed bird and the anaconda
- Sarah Huggersack
- Rattlesnakes and revolution
- The Rhea Hunt