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Gerald Durrell

An element of self-indulgence will doubtless be suspected in the last couple of writers I shall include in this series, though I feel there are good reasons for including them. In the first place, they represent genres that are a significant part of English letters, in the one case travel, in the other history. Secondly, they have interesting literary connections, of different sorts, and also exemplify factors I have found recurring again and again in the biographies of the writers I have included in the series.

To begin with Gerald Durrell, he belonged to what used to be termed an Anglo-Indian family. In the old sense that meant Britishers who worked in India. The same was true of George Orwell (who like Durrell was born in India) and Terence Rattigan and of course Kipling. Writers who spent time in India, many of them writing about the country, included Forster and Simon Raven and Paul Scott and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and of course the Indians, Naipaul and Rushdie and Seth.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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