To hear some audio clips from this book click on the players below:
Gerald Durrell was born in Jamshedpur, India, in 1925. His family returned to England in 1928, and then in 1935 they went to live on the island of Corfu, where they remained until 1939. It was during this time that Gerald made a special study of zoology, keeping a large number of the local wild animals as pets. In 1945 he worked as a student keeper at Whipsnade Zoo, before leaving to set up wildlife collecting expeditions. He financed, organised and led his first to the Cameroons in 1947. This gave rise to the first of his immensely popular books, The Overloaded Ark. During this period he realised that zoos were not doing all they should for conservation, and he determined to set up a zoo of his own devoted to saving species from extinction. In 1959 he founded what is now known as the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Jersey. He wrote many more books, including My Family and Other Animals, the first of the books about his childhood on Corfu. Gerald Durrell died in 1995, aged 70.
Michael Bartlett is the writer of many radio, television and stage plays, though perhaps he is best known for writing The Archers for Radio 4 and Rainbow for Thames Television. He is also a producer and has directed plays, readings and documentaries for BBC and commercial radio and for audio publication.
Track 1: Introduction
Track 2: The Birthday Party – part 1
Track 3: The Birthday Party – part 2
Track 4: The Talking Head
Track 5: Cuttlefish And Crabs
Track 6: A Brush With Spirits
Track 7: Owls And Aristocracy
These stories are published by kind permission of the Estate of Gerald Durrell. They were originally recorded for County Sound Radio in Guildford, Surrey.
The pictures on the main image are ©The Estate of Gerald Durrell and © Philip Coffey and are used with their kind permission.