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The book was written in 1955 in Bournemouth, where Durrell was recuperating from a severe attack of jaundice.Whereas Durrell often claimed to find writing a chore, this book was different: his first wife Jacquie recalled "Never have I known Gerry work as he did then; it seemed to pour out of him".
His books helped stimulate the development of tourism in Corfu.
Nigel Marven of the Natural History Unit, Bristol was responsible for the animals side of the production; Denis Mc Keown, then Ph D student in Psychology University of Sussex did the training of the famous pigeon Quasimodo in the series.
The whistling for the theme tune was provided by Ken Barrie who was also the original voice of the children's television character Postman Pat. as Louisa Durrell and Milo Parker as Gerald Durrell.
In 2005, it was adapted by the BBC as a 90-minute film, My Family and Other Animals, starring Eugene Simon as the young Gerry, Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Three subsequent series of The Durrells were broadcast, in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
The first series is set in 1935, the second in 1936, the third in 1937, and the fourth in 1938-39.