The Durrells

By Kay Gardiner
December 2, 2018

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  • Can’t believe CCF is not your favorite. Twas for this I cowdled thee as a mommet? (Not that I knew you as a mommet, but okay.) I’m rereading it for the 20th time right now. It’s part of my mental hygiene. But now I will get a copy of My Family and Other Animals asap.

  • Thank you! Loved the Kinks, but then I am older than you and grew up in NY, and still reread The Hitchiker’s Guide. Agree about Michael Landon, but watched it anyway, but don’t get me started on Anne with an E. I now have something new to read and watch, so thank you again.

  • I’ll be checking out Netflix to see if I can watch this in the Netherlands. Have you watched Dowton Abbey or Call the midwife? Great knitting series as well

    • Karin, I have watched this series on BBC plus, lerhaps you get that channel on your cable too (we hace KPN)

  • And knitting! Margo wears lovely sweaters!
    Expat Brits on a warm Greek island in the slow moving 1930’s, it’s a delight.

  • My Family and Other Animals also a favorite laugh-out-loud book of mine and then of my children. The PBS show failed, in my opinion, to convey the incredible beauty of the countryside and the sea as written by Gerald, and the pretentiousness of his older brother, the soon to be famous writer, Lawrence. I watched it anyway.

  • Yes! Caught season 1&2 on Amazon but they don’t have season 3 yet. It is fantastic! Not so slow moving that I didn’t binge watch several episodes in a sitting. It leaves you with a vague hopeful feeling that things will be ok.

    • As soon as 1st episode of season 3 aired on PBS, all of season 3 popped up on my PBS channel on Roku box.I was happy to have them all ready to watch with no wait!
      Delightful series!

  • The A Word on Amazon prime is a really good series, 2 seasons. It’s set in Northern England, gorgeous countryside. The story and acting are great. Second seasons focuses more on the other family members. Anyone that watches British tv shows will recognize actors on there.

  • I ordered My Family and Other Animals from the library and Cold Comfort Farm from Book Depository (I had already read Hitchhikers). If anyone else orders Cold Comfort Farm, watch out for abridged editions. They get terrible reviews and are everywhere on the US book sites!

  • I share your stance on “Little House”. I have come across The Durrells but not yet watched. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • The Durrells in Corfu is one of my favorite tv shows! Highly recommend – it’s great!

    • Mine to, love the MOM, the island just awsome, seems like a place to soothe one’s troubles, you just wish you were there.

  • I have never read Cold Comfort Farm or any Durrells. I shall off to PBS with my Passport for some gift knitting watching.

  • I love the book and film and other recommendations, though I usually let them slip into some kind of black hole. At the moment, my limited pleasure-reading time has been devoted to one author. Need to broaden my literature! I also appreciate the – are they called hyperlinks? – to previous blog posts, or pattern pages, etc. I reread the post about Belinda – so much to love about that, so sorry to again read of her passing. I also found the Tamatori cowl on Ravelry, but the pattern isn’t available. Does anyone know if the stitch pattern has a name? It looks fairly straightforward, and I could figure out the rest of the pattern. I don’t say this often enough, but thanks again for everything!

    • I will see if I can dig up the pattern. It is simple but I think did not come from an English stitch dictionary. I made a couple of them when she was testing the pattern.

      • Kay – thank you! If you can find the stitch pattern that would be fab! My current focus is stash-busting. I want to make an appreciable dent in my stash so I can justify buying more yarn from MDK! It looks like a good stitch pattern for a simple-enough cowl.

  • I LOVE this show

  • I LOVED My Family and Other Animals. I read it such a long time ago that I don’t remember much about it except for Gerry. It was written by him and in the first person. I did not think about Audible and have to ‘re-read’ with Audible. Loved the TV series, although the historical facts are a bit inaccurate, regarding Lawrence.

  • I used to read Gerald Durrell’s book, The Fantastic Flying Adventure ( to second and third graders. They loved the story of a kind great-uncle traveling around the world with his great niece and nephews. The Dollybutt (hoots of laughter!) children meet up with a wide variety of animals as they go through their adventure. This book introduced me to Gerald Durrell and I’ve enjoyed his work ever since.

  • I just love this series! The book will be added to my queue.

    • I loved the TV series, which I watched on PBS, and now I’m reading the books. As my newest t-shirt says, if I could find a way to read and knit at the same time, my life would be perfect.

  • CCF! Yes! Always, always give a copy to folks experiencing “a bit of trouble” – nothing like it. Then RATETU – loved that particularly when dramatized on NPR years ago. The Durrells were pressed upon me by a beloved and wise friend years ago and I enjoyed every one of the books I read immensely despite resultant bad news regarding behavior within the family. Sometimes one must simply move swiftly on…. Hear hear to light reading, huzzah!

  • As a kid, I read every book that Gerald Durrell wrote, some of them multiple times. I even wrote to the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust enquiring about membership. I think that’s where my love of nature and science began.

    PS – as a kid ,I thought the name of GeraldsG little rowboat (in My Family and Other Animals) was so funny. It still makes me laugh, even as an adult

    • Forgot to say that Hitchhikers is also a big fave – Vogon poetry anyone? Douglas Adams was a genius – his comment about deadlines is one of my favourite quotes – “I love deadlines, I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly past”.

      • Please, no Vogon Poetry!
        One summer, we listened to the audio play of “Hitchhikers” on an almost daily basis. Both sons adored the books. We also have the BBC video … still delightful.

        Forever 42!

    • Me too. Gerald’s little boat doesn’t appear in the TV series.

  • I discovered My Family and Other Animals when I was about eight years old. My sister’s friend from medical school, Anthony, gave me a copy. He was Nigerian and had enjoyed it when he was younger. I read most of Gerald Durrells’ other works, but the Corfu Trilogy was always my favorite. I’ve been enjoying the new series, and it’s interesting to see the other characters so fleshed out compared to what I remember from childhood.

  • Oh my goodness, we may be kindred spirits with regard to books, TV AND knitting! I completely agree on all points!!

  • Oh my goodness, don’t know why I’ve been dodging the Durrells – on ep. 4 and loving it!

  • My PBS station just finished the season.
    This season was wonderful! I love this family!!!!

  • One of our favorite shows. The wait for season 3 is too long! Such a happy show.

  • A bit of tv trivia: Keeley Hawes starred in the short-lived reboot of Upstairs Downstairs circa 2010. It only lasted two seasons but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Claire Foy played her scandalous younger sister. The cast also included Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh (creators of the original series) in small roles, as well as Alex Kingston (Dr. River Song), Anne Reid (Last Tango in Paradise), and Adrian Scarborough, who pops up in all sorts of projects and is in my opinion a highly underrated actor!

  • Beautifully said and I just love this series. ! Keeley is the perfect mom and check out the real father of Little House definitely not Michael Landon

  • The Durrells are delightful and PBS Passport is a great gift to knitters!

  • Adding this to my Audible, I’ll enjoy it extra by imagining talking to Belinda .
    As far as watching Little House— same here. One must have some loyalty to one’s books and mental illustrations .

    • I was introduced to Gerald Durrell when I ordered “The Overloaded Ark” through a Scholastic Book order in the 4th grade. I still have the paperback somewhere and loved it so much I couldn’t part with it to give to my grand daughter so I ordered a new copy for her a few years ago. I can still recall the part where Durrell vividly describes the scene where army ants were about to overrun his camp…

  • We just started watching the show on Amazon ? Netflix? Whichever…
    My English husband just loves it. So do I.
    Another great recomandation from Kay! Thanks.

  • I’ll have to check this show out now that my beloved Poldark is off the air! This also prompted me to sign up for PBS passport and request the audiobook from the library! 🙂

  • Anyone read The Alexandria Quartet, by Lawrence Durrell? Lovely books by Durrell brother Larry ;).

  • I never watched Little House either, for exactly that reason – though I read those books over and over! Glad to know I wasn’t alone

  • Thanks for this, Kay. You are such a great source for our viewing pleasure. One of my favorite MDK features! XOClare

  • I wholeheartedly concur with you about the book (I re-read it every now and then and it always makes me laugh out loud in places) but despite the acting, I can’t get past all of the changes to the story that they made in order to make it more television worthy!

  • I remember watching a TV show with Gerald Durrell (maybe The Stationary Ark?) long ago (as in the 70s), then found the “My Family” book which I love. I’m enjoying the new series, but there is an earlier version of the “My Family and Other Animals” book made into a movie with the same name. It was broadcast in 2005 with Imelda Staunton as Louisa–definitely worth finding at your library or wherever. There may also have been another earlier dramatization.

  • I’ve loved My Family and Other Animals for years; I read it when I was about 10. There are two more books in the series, too! I’ll have to check out the PBS series, it looks like everyone here is recommending it.

  • Ibid. I misjudged it as “another boring post-WW2 PBS Britdram.” I LOVE IT!

  • Eccentric Brit family on a sundrenched Greek island? That is literally all you needed to say to me. I binged the first 4 episodes on Sunday right after I read this, and I love it so much. It is indeed soothing in a troubling world. I plan to read the books AFTER watching the series – I completely understand that often when you read and love a book, you do not want any show or movie to change it for you. I’ll see how it goes to do this in the opposite order!

  • Love this show…of course, being Greek, I have to watch it. It’s a rule.

  • You were right about Little House. Michael Landon did his best to turn the show into Bonanza, his former claim to glory. Worst plot ever, the kids explore the “old haunted abandoned house” in town. Pioneers?