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The Corfu Trilogy Paperback – 3 Aug 2006
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About the Author
Born in India in 1925, Gerald Durrell settled on Corfu with his family as a boy, and immediately became fascinated by the island's natural history. He spent much of his time studying the local wildlife and kept numerous, and often unusual, pets. He grew up to be a famous naturalist, animal-collector and conservationist. Over his lifetime he wrote 37 books, went on dozens of animal-collecting trips and presented numerous TV shows. He founded Jersey Zoo in 1959 as a centre for the conservation of endangered species, and created the Jersey Wildlife Conservation Trust in 1963. Gerald ran the Zoo from its foundation until his death in 1995, and his wife Lee is still Honorary Director of the Trust.
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The ITV series, based on these books, by the way is technically better in almost every respect than the earlier BBC series but manages to be much less watchable, You can get the BBC series featuring the incomparable Brian Blessed on Amazon My Family And Other Animals [DVD]
Of course, there is an outdated element to the books. No child today should be encouraged or allowed to collect the vast number of animals that Durrell did, which included robbing birds’ nests and other (now) illegal activities! So I would imagine a child reading it today might be amazed at what the young Gerald got away with. But hopefully it might lead to some useful discussions on protecting wildlife, and conserving habitats and ecosystems, rather than taking animals from the wild and keeping them in cages. And hopefully the same children might realise that things were different then, and that the young Gerald’s nest-robbing etc. laid the foundation for his later magnificent work in breeding and protecting endangered species.
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