This book is an autobiographical account of five years in the childhood of naturalist Gerald Durrell when he lived with his family lived on the island of Corfu. Apart from Gerald (the youngest) and Larry (Lawrence Durrell, the novelist), the family comprised their widowed mother, the gun-mad Leslie, and diet-obsessed sister Margo together with Roger the dog. The procession of animals includes toads, and tortoises, bats and butterflies scorpions and geckos, ladybirds, glow-worms, octopuses and rose-beetles, Ulysses, the Scops owl, Quasimodo the pigeon, the puppies Widdle and Puke, and of course the magpies. The family is fiercely protected by their taxi-driver friend Spiro, and Gerald is mentored by the polymath Dr Theodore Stephanides who provides his education in natural history.
Gerald Durrell – naturalist, author, media personality, conservationist and founder of the internationally renowned Jersey Zoo. He was a passionate and persuasive advocate of the need for the conservation of animals and plants and their habitats. A larger than life character, he was a brilliant story-teller in speech and in print.