What would your ideal family vacation look like? If you are anything like the Durrells — the eccentric Indo-British clan at the focal point of the recently-launched PBS series, The Durrells in Corfu — the getaway will last four years, will take place in the Greek island of Corfu, and will involve hours-long brunches held in the shallow end of the sea, a lot of skinny dipping, and a whole host of other quirky activities.
But what happened to the Durrells after Corfu? Let's find out.
What happened to the Durrells after Corfu?
The four-year-long idyll came to an abrupt end in 1939, as the head of the household, Louisa received news about the commencement of World War II. Corfu was invaded in 1941, much later, the family packed up their suitcases and made their return to the place they collectively referred to as "The Pudding Island," the U.K.
As an hour-long special feature by ITV UK, titled What The Durrells Did Next reveals, the family struggled to leave behind paradise and settle down in the spacious, two-story Victorian-era family house awaiting them in the small, rainy city of Bournemouth. Infamous for their adventurous spirit and unceasing desire to explore the world, none of the family members managed to stick it out for too long.
The Alexandria Quartet is far from the only volume penned by a Durrell.
Lawrence, the older brother spent some of the late 30s in the company of the sharpest intellectuals and much-prophesied talents — including Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller and co. — but his true talents didn't come to the fore until his move to Alexandria, Egypt. The resulting The Alexandria Quartet marked his foray to the VIP club of literary superstars.
Soon enough, it was Gerald's turn to show off his writing chops, publishing the satire titled My Family and Other Animals in 1958.
Tempted to give it a read? If The Durrells in Corfu is your cup of tea, you should certainly do so. The series was loosely inspired by this book, and Gerald's endlessly entertaining, humorous musings about the silly adventures and unusual activities his family members got up to.
Next up to join the internationally recognized group of genius authors was Margot, who penned Whatever Happened to Margot? in 1947.
If you think Lawrence's Egyptian stay or Gerald's unceasing affinity for animals makes for a book's worth of material, think again.
In similar fashion to Gerald's My Family and Other Animals, Margot's first and only volume is an autobiographical piece of work that heavily references the colorful everydays of the bohemian family.
While Gerald's piece evinces his untiring interest in zoology, Margot shares her rare observations about the nitty-gritty details of working as a landlady, providing a sardonic depiction of the tenants whose life she is contractually required to trace step by step.
As to the black sheep of the family? That's Leslie, the second oldest brother with a vast interest in everything guns, hunting, and sailing-related. Depicted as a confident, decisive sibling in The Durrells in Corfu, Leslie struggled to maintain close relationships in real life and was buried alone, excommunicated by the clan.
The Durrells in Corfu offers a taste of the crazy experiences the family members got involved in over the years. It's their books, letters, and the remaining paraphernalia that reveals how incredible they truly were.