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Born in colonial India in the foothills of the Himalayas but sent to boarding school in England, Lawrence Durrell hated the buttoned-up lifestyle of the north. When his father died he saw an opportunity to escape.

Somehow, by some incredible art of persuasion, he convinced his mother to pack up their entire family—four children, of whom he was the eldest—and move them all to the Greek island of Corfu.

They lived a crazy island life with eccentric locals and writers dropping by—people like Freya Stark and Henry Miller—and during all those years Durrell plugged away in a little stone house on the side of a mountain and taught himself to write.

Prospero’s Cell is the story of those years.

When you’ve finished this, read Reflections on a Marine Venus and Bitter Lemons, Durrell’s other island books.

And then read everything else he’s written. Everything.

Durrell wrote about the spirit of place, and how everyone has a personal landscape, a landscape that resonates with them on some deep tuning fork level. That’s where your thoughts are most lucid, and for a writer, it’s where you do your best work.

Reading these three books inspired me to drop everything in 2011 and move to the Mediterranean, to a country I'd never been to.

For several years I led a secluded life in small villages on the island of Malta.

It was my attempt to bring Lawrence Durrell’s vision to reality in my life. This story is told in my next book.

It didn't go the way I expected, or the way I had hoped. But that's the curious thing about an island. It can isolate you, and turn you into something else.

#ryanmurdock #roadwisdom #durrell #lawrencedurrell #prosperoscell #corfu #reflectionsonamarinevenus #rhodes #bitterlemons #cyprus #spiritofplace #thedurrells #greece #mediterraneanlife #mediterraneanlifestyle 
#islomania #travellit #travelwriting #travelliterature #travelreads #armchairtraveller #bookish #bookstagram #amreading #goodreads #bookworm #alwaysreading #lovetoread
Born in colonial India in the foothills of the Himalayas but sent to boarding school in England, Lawrence Durrell hated the buttoned-up lifestyle of the north. When his father died he saw an opportunity to escape. Somehow, by some incredible art of persuasion, he convinced his mother to pack up their entire family—four children, of whom he was the eldest—and move them all to the Greek island of Corfu. They lived a crazy island life with eccentric locals and writers dropping by—people like Freya Stark and Henry Miller—and during all those years Durrell plugged away in a little stone house on the side of a mountain and taught himself to write. Prospero’s Cell is the story of those years. When you’ve finished this, read Reflections on a Marine Venus and Bitter Lemons, Durrell’s other island books. And then read everything else he’s written. Everything. Durrell wrote about the spirit of place, and how everyone has a personal landscape, a landscape that resonates with them on some deep tuning fork level. That’s where your thoughts are most lucid, and for a writer, it’s where you do your best work. Reading these three books inspired me to drop everything in 2011 and move to the Mediterranean, to a country I'd never been to. For several years I led a secluded life in small villages on the island of Malta. It was my attempt to bring Lawrence Durrell’s vision to reality in my life. This story is told in my next book. It didn't go the way I expected, or the way I had hoped. But that's the curious thing about an island. It can isolate you, and turn you into something else. #ryanmurdock  #roadwisdom  #durrell  #lawrencedurrell  #prosperoscell  #corfu  #reflectionsonamarinevenus  #rhodes  #bitterlemons  #cyprus  #spiritofplace  #thedurrells  #greece  #mediterraneanlife  #mediterraneanlifestyle  #islomania  #travellit  #travelwriting  #travelliterature  #travelreads  #armchairtraveller  #bookish  #bookstagram  #amreading  #goodreads  #bookworm  #alwaysreading  #lovetoread 
On a calm day I kayaked a couple of kms round to Prospero's Cell, a tiny chapel perched on the rocks near Agni Bay. #corfu #seakayaking
#agnibay #nissaki #sevylorkayak #sevylorreef
#thedurrells #prosperoscell #travelphotography #theglobalnomad
#photooftheday #greece #greekislands
Also featured in Episode 1 of "The Durrells" tv series!
"...the summers of indolence and deduction on the northern beaches of our island - beaches incessantly washed and sponged by the green Ionian..." Lawrence Durrell, from Prospero's Cell. The beach at Kouloura, around the headland from Kalami and the White House, was empty in late October when I took this photo and it was easy to imagine it hadn't changed at all from the days of the Durrells. An old olive press, in ruins, at the back of the beach, that Gerald wanted to buy in the 1960s but didn't, was still there in the same state.
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#kouloura #kalami #corfu #greece #thedurrells #lawrencedurrell #geralddurrell #prosperoscell #wanderlust #myfamilyandotheranimals #bookish #bibliophile #booksettings #bookandlandscape #igreads #lovereading #boat #bookstagramfeature #beach
"...the summers of indolence and deduction on the northern beaches of our island - beaches incessantly washed and sponged by the green Ionian..." Lawrence Durrell, from Prospero's Cell. The beach at Kouloura, around the headland from Kalami and the White House, was empty in late October when I took this photo and it was easy to imagine it hadn't changed at all from the days of the Durrells. An old olive press, in ruins, at the back of the beach, that Gerald wanted to buy in the 1960s but didn't, was still there in the same state. . #kouloura  #kalami  #corfu  #greece  #thedurrells  #lawrencedurrell  #geralddurrell  #prosperoscell  #wanderlust  #myfamilyandotheranimals  #bookish  #bibliophile  #booksettings  #bookandlandscape  #igreads  #lovereading  #boat  #bookstagramfeature  #beach 
Prospero's Cell is Lawrence Durrell's small masterpiece. It purports to be a notebook from his days living in Corfu with his first wife, Nancy, though it was crafted years later in wartime Egypt. The photo on the cover of Ian MacNiven's biography shows the young writer on Corfiot rocks.
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I can't improve on what Freya Stark admired in Prospero's Cell: 'There is evoked what is rarely transmitted in any generation and almost never in our own -- an atmosphere of happiness as radiant and all-embracing as the Ionian air. It is not described, but grown inevitably out of the "little eternities" of the island life and the untroubled charm of characters detached from any fictional demand for drama. Corfu is the island. An unclouded summer season was spent there before World War II, and the episode is lifted by the brilliant craftsmanship into the realm of art.'
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The glory is in the lyrical detail, where observations hover between a list in a notebook and poetry: "The bowl of wild roses. The English knives and forks. Greek cigarettes. The battered and sea-stained notebook in which I rough out my poems. The rope and oar lying under the tree. The spilth of the olive press which will be gathered for fuel. The pile of rough stone for the building of a garden wall. A bucket and an axe. The peasant crossing the orchard in her white headdress. the restless cough of the goat in the barn. All these take shape and substance round this little yellow cone of flame in which N. Is cutting the cheese and washing the grapes. A single candle burning upon a table between our happy selves."
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#bookstagramfeature #thedurrells #prosperoscell #lawrencedurrell #corfu #greece #wanderlust #travelreads #igreads #lovereading #instabook
Prospero's Cell is Lawrence Durrell's small masterpiece. It purports to be a notebook from his days living in Corfu with his first wife, Nancy, though it was crafted years later in wartime Egypt. The photo on the cover of Ian MacNiven's biography shows the young writer on Corfiot rocks. . I can't improve on what Freya Stark admired in Prospero's Cell: 'There is evoked what is rarely transmitted in any generation and almost never in our own -- an atmosphere of happiness as radiant and all-embracing as the Ionian air. It is not described, but grown inevitably out of the "little eternities" of the island life and the untroubled charm of characters detached from any fictional demand for drama. Corfu is the island. An unclouded summer season was spent there before World War II, and the episode is lifted by the brilliant craftsmanship into the realm of art.' . The glory is in the lyrical detail, where observations hover between a list in a notebook and poetry: "The bowl of wild roses. The English knives and forks. Greek cigarettes. The battered and sea-stained notebook in which I rough out my poems. The rope and oar lying under the tree. The spilth of the olive press which will be gathered for fuel. The pile of rough stone for the building of a garden wall. A bucket and an axe. The peasant crossing the orchard in her white headdress. the restless cough of the goat in the barn. All these take shape and substance round this little yellow cone of flame in which N. Is cutting the cheese and washing the grapes. A single candle burning upon a table between our happy selves." . #bookstagramfeature  #thedurrells  #prosperoscell  #lawrencedurrell  #corfu  #greece  #wanderlust  #travelreads  #igreads  #lovereading  #instabook 
The view from Lawrence and Nancy Durrell's apartment on the top floor of The White House at Kalami, Corfu. When the Durrell brothers wrote that Albania was just across the water, they were not exaggerating: apart from the cypress headland on the left, the hills and mountains visible from the balcony are Albania.
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#bookandlandscape #lawrencedurrell #corfu #kalami #wanderlust #travelreading #prosperoscell #greece #thedurrells
The shrine of St Arsenius, near Agni, Corfu. The deep narrow pool below the fishermen's shrine was where Nancy Durrell famously dived for cherries, and Lawrence wrote his breakthrough novel, The Black Book, inspired by his new friend Henry Miller. Years later, he recalled the time in beautiful lyric prose in Prospero's Cell. (See previous post for background.)
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#bookish #thedurrells #lawrencedurrell #alwaysreading #corfu #greece #wanderlust #travelblogger #travelreading #cypress #shrine #biography #igreads #thefinchbook #bookclub #bookworm #bibliophile #sea #instabook #bookstagram #alwaysreading #goodreads #prosperoscell #myfamilyandotheranimals #bookstagramfeature
The shrine of St Arsenius, near Agni, Corfu. The deep narrow pool below the fishermen's shrine was where Nancy Durrell famously dived for cherries, and Lawrence wrote his breakthrough novel, The Black Book, inspired by his new friend Henry Miller. Years later, he recalled the time in beautiful lyric prose in Prospero's Cell. (See previous post for background.) . #bookish  #thedurrells  #lawrencedurrell  #alwaysreading  #corfu  #greece  #wanderlust  #travelblogger  #travelreading  #cypress  #shrine  #biography  #igreads  #thefinchbook  #bookclub  #bookworm  #bibliophile  #sea  #instabook  #bookstagram  #alwaysreading  #goodreads  #prosperoscell  #myfamilyandotheranimals  #bookstagramfeature 
Next time you're on the island, come and check out Prospero's Cell!
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Come enter #ProsperosCell (yep, we know, the sign is ironic 😂). #thetempest #rsctempest #intel @intel #prosperosislandProspero's Cell and #ConductTheStorm. #thetempest #rsctempest #intel @intel #prosperosisland
Step inside #Prospero's mind in our new installation #ProsperosCell - in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Paccar Room (Level 2). #RSCTempest #thetempest #exhibition #rsc #theatre #flyingobject
Koyun sonunda sagdaki beyaz ev, İngiliz yazar Lawrence Durrell'in 1930 larda Kalami de yaşadığı ev. Yazar, 'Prospero's Cell' adlı kitabında, İngiltere den, Korfu ya gelişini ve buradaki hayatını anlatıyor ....
Koyun sonunda sagdaki beyaz ev, İngiliz yazar Lawrence Durrell'in 1930 larda Kalami de yaşadığı ev. Yazar, 'Prospero's Cell' adlı kitabında, İngiltere den, Korfu ya gelişini ve buradaki hayatını anlatıyor ....
Como Robert Graves en Deià, en los años treinta del siglo pasado, Lawrence Durrell convenció a su familia para que vinieran a vivir a una gran casa blanca en un pueblo maravilloso, Kalami, en el norte de Corfu, justo enfrente de la costa albanesa. Lawrence escribió Prospero's Cell y, basado en sus años aquí, Gerald tuvo la inspiración para 'Mi familia y otros animales' | #ProsperosCell #Kalami #LawrenceDurrell #GeraldDurrell #DurrellFamily #Corfu #Kérkyra #Ionianisia #IonianIslands #Heptanese #Heptanēsos #Elláda #greece🇬🇷
Como Robert Graves en Deià, en los años treinta del siglo pasado, Lawrence Durrell convenció a su familia para que vinieran a vivir a una gran casa blanca en un pueblo maravilloso, Kalami, en el norte de Corfu, justo enfrente de la costa albanesa. Lawrence escribió Prospero's Cell y, basado en sus años aquí, Gerald tuvo la inspiración para 'Mi familia y otros animales' | #ProsperosCell  #Kalami  #LawrenceDurrell  #GeraldDurrell  #DurrellFamily  #Corfu  #Kérkyra  #Ionianisia  #IonianIslands  #Heptanese  #Heptanēsos  #Elláda  #greece 🇬🇷
Post cliff jump WOOOOOOO 😎😎😎 #prosperoscell #corfu
"Then as the candle draws breath and steadies everything hardens slowly back into an image of a world in water, so that Theodore can point into the water at our feet and show us the Pleiades burning." #lawrencedurrell #prosperoscell (1945) #kalami #corfu #kerkIra #kerkyra #ig_greece #greecetagram #durrellhouse #thewhitehousekalami #ionian #ioniansea #instagreece
"All morning we lie under the shrine of St. Arsenius, dropping cherries into the pool - clear down where they loom like drops of blood. Nancy has been going in for them like an otter and bringing them up in her lips." #lawrencedurrell #prosperoscell (1945) #kalami #corfu #kerkira #kerkyra #greece #greecetagram #ig_greece #ionian #ioniansea #instagreece
My daughter made this little boat out of a wood chip she found in a neighbor's yard. We took it home and stepped a mast. She cut a blue sail. Would have made my late friend Bob Tiedemann proud.
#maker #miniature #woodenboats #kidart #art #vision #imagine #dream #gleam #northernlight 
#prosperoscell #durrell #seascopenewport #sea  #captainbob #tiedemann #inspiration #ocean #sailboat #sloop #sailing #kidsplay #craft #sail  #design  #swallowsandamazons #sailing #maker #sailboat #childsimagination #nautical #shipsahoy
My daughter made this little boat out of a wood chip she found in a neighbor's yard. We took it home and stepped a mast. She cut a blue sail. Would have made my late friend Bob Tiedemann proud. #maker  #miniature  #woodenboats  #kidart  #art  #vision  #imagine  #dream  #gleam  #northernlight  #prosperoscell  #durrell  #seascopenewport  #sea  #captainbob  #tiedemann  #inspiration  #ocean  #sailboat  #sloop  #sailing  #kidsplay  #craft  #sail  #design  #swallowsandamazons  #sailing  #maker  #sailboat  #childsimagination  #nautical  #shipsahoy 
Olive grove above the sea between Kalami and Agni, the nets to catch the olives at harvest time wound around the trunks like sea snakes. #lawrencedurrell #corfu #greece #olivegrove #ionian #thewritinglife #prosperoscell #behindthebook #booksettings #wanderlust #travelblogger
Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu, the blue really begins 🌊 #prosperoscell #lawrencedurrell
I know it's not Monday or anything, but I really love this.
I know it's not Monday or anything, but I really love this.
#LawrenceDurrell immortalized my #birthday 76 years ago. #Lucky me :-) #ProsperosCell #literature #books