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The mission of the Durrell Library of Corfu is fourfold:
1) to promulgate and facilitate study of the works and lives of LAWRENCE DURRELL and GERALD DURRELL and their families and associates
2) to provide a forum for discussion of topics which were central to the work of Lawrence Durrell and Gerald Durrell
3) to provide a library service by responding to requests for information based on the Durrell Library
4) to continue the work of our predecessor, the DURRELL SCHOOL OF CORFU as a publisher
We are a not-for-profit organisation. We are not in receipt of any public funding.
We invite contact from those interested in our activities, who may like to ask a question, make a comment, contribute information, provide a text in our “Essays & Theses” page, or any other participation in the work of the DLC.
In all cases, first contact should be by email to:
Corfu was home to the Durrell family 1935-1939. It was the place (and the people and culture) which provided both Lawrence Durrell and his younger brother Gerald with their vision of their entire life’s work.
In 2000-01 Richard Pine visited Corfu and decided that this was therefore the most appropriate location for the DURRELL SCHOOL OF CORFU, since it was the only location in Greece where Lawrence and Gerald had both lived for any significant period of time.
Corfu has been a cosmopolitan city for many centuries. As capital of the Ionian islands during the Venetian period it became a diplomatic, strategic and commercial centre. Several attempts by the Ottoman empire to capture the islands were repulsed, preserving Corfu’s Italianate culture while most of the Greek islands and mainland were under Ottoman control. Corfu’s cosmopolitanism reflects its history as the site of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Angevin, Venetian, French and British influence. In 1864 the Ionian islands voted for enosis (union) with the fledgling state of Greece.
Corfu remains a vital participant in the life of modern Greece, and this is reflected in DLC activity. The Director, Richard Pine, writes a regular “Letter from Greece” in The Irish Times and has published Greece Through Irish Eyes (a personal appraisal of Greece in culture, history, politics, current affairs, 2015). He also writes a monthly column for the English-language edition of Kathimerini, the leading Greek daily newspaper.
For more information about Richard Pine, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pine and
The CORFU page of the website is dedicated not only to Corfiot events and reflections, but also to aspects of the Durrell family in Corfu which continue to resonate within the Corfiot acoustic.
Contents of the website
The MENU at the top of this page indicates the individual pages, each devoted to the relevant section of the DLC’s work and interests.
Through the website we provide links to other cognate institutions, such as the DURRELL WILDLIFE CONSERVATION TRUST (https://www.durrell.org) based in Jersey and founded by Gerald Durrell for the purpose of rescuing endangered species. The Trust is now active in many parts of the world, as the natural outcome of Gerald’s childhood vision, conceived in Corfu, of “a voyage round the world capturing animals”.
The “Gerald Durrell Week” in Corfu began as an activity of the Durrell School of Corfu (see ARCHIVE) and continues as an independent facility under the aegis of the DURRELL WILDLIFE CONSERVATION TRUST: https://geralddurrellscorfu.org. The Week takes place in May each year and features the participation of Dr Lee Durrell (widow of Gerald) and Professor David Shimwell, one of the world’s leading botanists and conservationists.
Anyone investigating the website will soon find their special areas of interest: scholars can study – and contribute to – the BIBLIOGRAPHY. The TEXTBOOKS page at present features the full texts of two standard works devoted to Lawrence Durrell. Less informed visitors may want to ask a question through the NOTES QUERIES AND COMMENTS page. Those active in affairs congruent with Durrell studies can notify us of events. Anyone who has written an essay is welcome to include it in the “ESSAYS & THESES” page. Current publications which are available for sale can be found on the PUBLICATIONS FOR SALE page.
The REVIEWS page will carry reviews of publications relating to the Durrells.
If you are interested in Corfu, things Corfiot, including the continuing relevance of the Durrell family in Corfu, then the CORFU page is for you.
Service to readers
The DLC holds facsmiles of some 200+ articles relating to Lawrence Durrell. We are happy to scan these and email them to bona fide scholars at no cost: the catalogue can be found in the LIBRARY CATALOGUE page – click on item (2) “articles on Lawrence Durrell” to consult the holdings.
The Durrell Library of Corfu and the International Lawrence Durrell Society
Until recently, the DLC (and its predecessor, the Durrell School of Corfu) enjoyed amicable and professionally fruitful relations with the International Lawrence Durrell Society (ILDS). Senior members of the ILDS served in honorary capacities on the board of the DSC and participated in its seminars. The publication of Theodore Stephanides’ memoirs, Autumn Gleanings, was a joint DSC-ILDS venture.
Unfortunately, in 2016 a former President of the ILDS , Professor James Gifford, (who in 2022 was re-elected to the presidency of the ILDS) made two public statements about the DLC and its director, Richard Pine, which were totally without foundation.
He stated that the DLC had refused, when requested to do so, to remove copyright material from its website. He made this statement with the agreement of the Executive Board of the ILDS. The statement is wholly untrue and without foundation. On foot of this untrue allegation, Dr Gifford announced that there could be no further communication between the ILDS and the DLC. He stated that the Executive Board of the ILDS concurred with this decision.
He also stated that Richard Pine had taken the work of others and presented it as his own. Again, this statement is completely untrue and amounts to a gross personal and professional defamation.
When challenged to substantiate his statements, Dr Gifford has refused to do so. Furthermore, when asked to comment on these untrue statements, with which they had been associated, the Executive Board of the ILDS refused to do so. On the recent (2018) appointment of a new President of the ILDS, we asked if this situation could be resolved, in the interests of renewed co-operation; that request as denied by the ILDS president, who has now been succeeded by the same Gifford.
In these circumstances, the DLC and its Director can no longer regard the ILDS as a friendly associate.
This notice will be removed immediately on our receiving an apology from Dr Gifford acknowledging the falsity of his statements, and a message authorised by the Executive Board of the ILDS dissociating itself from Dr Gifford’s mendacity.