Alan G. Thomas

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For the British materials scientist, see Alan G. Thomas (scientist).

Alan Gradon Thomas (19 October 1911, Hampstead, London - 3 August 1992), was an English bibliophile and Lawrence Durrell scholar who donated a significant collection of books, journals and other materials of or pertaining to Durrell to the British Library.[1]

In the 1930s, Thomas owned a Bournemouth-based antiquarian bookshop, Commin's Bookshop. He became friends with Lawrence Durrell and his younger brother Gerald Durrell soon after the Durrell family moved to Bournemouth in 1932, and became 'a kind of extra brother to the boys and a lifelong friend'.[2] Thomas was a lifelong correspondent of Lawrence Durrell, and in 1937 visited him on Corfu, recording his impressions of the trip in a private diary. Thomas is also the editor of Spirit of Place: Essays and Letters on Travel (1969), a compendium of letters and essays by British author and poet Lawrence Durrell. He is also the author of several volumes on different topics including Lawrence Durrell's life and works and antiquarian book collecting, including:

  • Spirit of Place: Essays and Letters on Travel (by Lawrence Durrell, edited by Alan G. Thomas) (1969)
  • Fine Books: Pleasures and Treasures (1971)
  • Fine Books and Book Collecting: books and manuscripts acquired from Alan G. Thomas and described by his customers on the occasion of his seventieth birthday (co-authors: Christopher De Hamel and Richard A. Linenthal) (1981)
  • Great Books and Book Collectors (1983)
  • Lawrence Durrell: an illustrated checklist (co-author James A. Brigham) (1983)

A collection of Thomas's letters to James A. Brigham is held at the University of Victoria.


  1. ^ Hamlyn, Martin (1992-08-04). "Obituary: Alan Thomas". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  2. ^ Botting, Douglas (1999). Gerald Durrell: the authorised biography. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255660-X.