Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Nancy, Alexia and Maria were intimately connected to the Durrells in Corfu, part of the family you might say - but not a word was said about them in My Family and Other Animals or in the other volumes of The Corfu Trilogy. This article in the Radio Times says something about these missing women.
Sunday, 21 May 2017
Like last weekend The Durrells of Corfu stands in the top ranks of the bestseller lists, number one in The Times, number three in The Sunday Times.
Meanwhile I have work to do, writing the biography of Lawrence Durrell for Yale University Press.
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
|Passing through Percy Circus.|
|Lenin at Percy Circus in 1902.|
Also Profile are near two spots where Vladimir Ilyich Lenin lived before the 1917 revolution that made him master of Russia and the creator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. One of these places is Percy Circus where Lenin lived in 1905; the other was in Holford Square in 1902, but the entire square was destroyed by German bombing during the Second World War.
A modernist housing project designed by a Russian architect called Berthold Lubetkin was built over the ruins of Holford square and was at first called Lenin Court but once the Cold War got into full swing in the late 1940s its name was changed to Bevin Court after the strongly anti-Communist Labour foreign secretary Ernest Bevin. It was Lenin/Bevin Court I was particularly keen to see.
Lubetkin also created a memorial to Lenin on this site but it was constantly attacked and he buried it beneath the central core of the staircase at garden level. But if you want to see Lenin himself, and not tulips, you will have to visit his mummified corpse in Moscow's Red Square, abutting the wall of the Kremlin and opposite the delightful GUM department store which is a thriving monument to the vitality of pre- and post-communist Russia.
For more of Lenin in London, click here.
Sunday, 14 May 2017
Saturday, 13 May 2017
Friday, 12 May 2017
'It started accidentally and has continued accidentally ever since. I mean following in the footsteps of the Durrells and writing about them. It began in Cairo just before I was about to catch the train for my first visit to Alexandria. I went into the Anglo-Egyptian bookshop which had been run since 1928 by an old Copt called Sobhi Greis; business was not what it used to be and his books were piled in heaps and covered in dust. I was looking for a guidebook to Alexandria but there was no such thing, but I did pull out from the bottom of a pile a paperback copy of Lawrence Durrell’s Justine, the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet which I had read ages ago. It was the Faber edition, the one with the red cover and the handprint like you see on walls throughout Egypt, a child’s hand to avert the evil eye.'
That is how my blog post for Waterstones begins. It tells how I accidentally came to follow in the footsteps of the Durrells, from that day in a Cairo bookshop to the recent publication of The Durrells of Corfu. To read my full Waterstones blog post, click here.
Monday, 8 May 2017
|One of Abbey's famous outdoor blackboards.|
Saturday, 6 May 2017
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
The International Lawrence Durrell Society, under the moniker @Durrell, tweets about all sorts of things Durrellian, not only Larry but also Gerry and all the rest, as well as just about anything that can claim free association. You can see it online here.
I am very much looking forward to seeing more of Andreas Giorgiadis' remarkable pen and ink works at the Hellenic Centre.
I have previously seen his evocative illustrations of Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet.
This time his subject is Constantinople.
Monday, 1 May 2017
I was away at the Hexham Book Festival when Waterstones announced this morning that The Durrells of Corfu is their non-fiction Book of the Month for May.
I am told that the book is blossoming in shop windows up and down the country and in airports too but I have seen nothing myself yet (apart from the photographs people have been sending in); instead I was inspecting the northern border defences of the Roman Empire along the River Tyne. (More of that later.)