Gerald Durrell: The Authorised Biography

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9780002556606: Gerald Durrell: The Authorised Biography

The authorised biography of the great naturalist and conservationist Gerald Durrell, who died aged 70 in January 1995 in Jersey, where he founded the zoo he’d dreamed of as a small boy and pioneered the captive breeding of animals for conservation.

Gerald Durrell was a world-famous naturalist and popular author who wrote, in all, some 37 immensely readable yarns, including the bestselling My Family and Other Animals. His other books include Birds, Beasts and Relatives, The Bafut Beagles and A Zoo in My Luggage.

Above all, he paved the way in print for the popular presentation of the natural world on television and presented 12 series himself – the early ones, of his own expeditions. Sir David Attenborough has said: ‘He was responsible for changing people’s attitudes to zoology and changing their agenda. He showed them small animals could be as interesting as apes and elephants… He was a pioneer with a marvellous sense of humour.’

His brother was the famous writer Lawrence Durrell.

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Review:

Although his work is not widely read today, Gerald Durrell (1925-1995) was among the world's most popular naturalists in the 1950s and early 60s. He travelled to then-remote places such as Siberia, Cameroon, Tierra del Fuego and Mauritius in search of odd zoological specimens and reported his travels in books like The Whispering Land and My Family and Other Animals. In the first full-length biography devoted to Durrell, Douglas Botting writes of his passage from gifted child amateur to scientifically trained professional. That passage was inspired in part by Gerald's older (and more famous) brother, the novelist and memoirist Lawrence Durrell, who gave Gerald a copy of Jean-Henri Fabre's classic Insect Life: Souvenirs of a Naturalist and encouraged his younger brother to follow his dream of living and working in the wild. Gerald Durrell, as Botting shows, went on to make signal contributions as a conservationist who founded the Jersey Zoo and other organisations devoted to protecting endangered species by breeding them in captivity and then reintroducing them into their native habitats. (Among those species were the Siberian ferret, highland gorilla, snow leopard, bespectacled bear and golden lion tamarin.) Botting's well-written biography will be of interest not only to admirers of Durrell's work but also to students of the environmentalist and conservationist movements. -- Gregory McNamee, Amazon.com

From the Back Cover:

Gerald Durrell was a world-famous naturalist and popular author who wrote, in all, some 37 books including the bestselling 'My Family and Other Animals'. His other books include 'Birds, Beasts and Relatives', 'The Bafut Beagles' and 'A Zoo in My Luggage'.

Above all, he paved the way in print for the popular presentation of the natural world on television and presented 12 series himself – the early ones, of his own expeditions. Sir David Attenborough has said: ‘He was responsible for changing peoples attitudes to zoology and changing their agenda. He showed them small animals could be as interesting as apes and elephants… He was a pioneer with a marvellous sense of humour.’

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Botting, Douglas
Published by HarperCollins (1999)
ISBN 10: 000255660X ISBN 13: 9780002556606
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Murray Media
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11000255660X

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