Amateurs in Eden - The Story of a Bohemian Marriage: Nancy and Lawrence Durrell

Author(s): Joanna Hodgkin

Writers & Literary Biography

The story of Lawrence Durrell and his enigmatic first wife, Nancy: love, betrayal and literary endeavour set among the glittering intellectuals of 1930s London, Paris and Corfu.


Nancy Durrell was a woman famous for her silences. Anais Nin said 'I think often of Nancy's most eloquent silences, Nancy talking with her fingers, her hair, her cheeks, a wonderful gift. Music again.' As the first wife Lawrence Durrell, author of The Alexandria Quartet, it is perhaps surprising that she is an unknown entity, a constant presence in the biographies of Durrell and others in the Bloomsbury set, yet always a shadowy figure, beautiful and enigmatic. But who was the woman who was with Durrell during the most important years of his development as a writer? Joanna Hodgkin decides to retrace her mother's fascinating story: the escape from her toxic and mysterious family; the years in bohemian literary London and Paris in the 1930s; marriage to Durrell and their discovery of the 'Eden' of pre-war Corfu and her desperate struggle to survive in Palestine alone with a small child as the British Mandate collapsed. Amateurs in Eden is a fascinating biography of a literary marriage and of an unusual woman struggling to live an independent life.

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Product Information

Shortlisted for Spear's Book Awards: Family History Book of the Year 2012.

Joanna Hodgkin has written several successful psychologial thrillers as Joanna Hines.

General Fields

  • : 9781844087945
  • : Little, Brown Book Group
  • : Virago Press Ltd
  • : October 2012
  • : February 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Joanna Hodgkin
  • : Paperback
  • : 352