Margaret Durrell

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Margaret "Margo" Isabel Mabel Durrell (4 May 1920 — 16 January 2007) was the younger sister of novelist Lawrence Durrell and elder sister of naturalist, author, and TV presenter Gerald Durrell, who lampoons her character in his Corfu Trilogy of novels: My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives, and The Garden of the Gods.

Margo was born in British India and brought up in India and England. In 1935, she accompanied her mother, Gerald, and Leslie to Corfu, following her eldest brother Lawrence who had moved there with his first wife Nancy Myers. Her mother, Gerald, and Leslie returned to England by 1939 with the outbreak of World War II, but Margo decided that her real home was on Corfu and remained on the island, sharing a peasant cottage with some local friends. She met Royal Air Force pilot Jack Breeze later the same year, who was stationed on the island. He convinced her of the dangers of staying on Corfu and the couple travelled together to South Africa, marrying in 1940, and then lived in South Africa for the remainder of the war. They moved to Bournemouth after the war and had children Gerry and Nicholas.

Margo divorced her husband and purchased a large property across the street from her mother's house in Bournemouth, turning it into a boarding house. Gerald Durrell's core collection for his zoo was initially housed in the back garden and garage. Later, Margo had a short-lived marriage with musician Malcolm "Mac" Duncan. She was still enamoured with Greece, so she applied for a job on a Greek cruise ship travelling to the Caribbean that she saw advertised in a newspaper.[1]

Her book Whatever Happened to Margo? is a humorous account of her experiences as a Bournemouth landlady in the late 1940s and includes details about the lives of her family, particularly Leslie, Gerald, and Louisa Durrell following their time on Corfu. The manuscript was apparently written in the 1960s, but it was discovered in the attic by a granddaughter nearly 40 years later and published in 1995.[2]

Margaret died at age 86 on 16 January 2007. [3]

Bibliography[edit]

Portrayals[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Margaret Durrell Remembers, in Lawrence Durrell and the Greek World, edited by Anna Lilios
  2. ^ Robin Balke, Paperback reviews, The Independent, 13 October 1996
  3. ^ "Durrell death marks the end of an era". Jersey Evening Post. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2017.