Lawrence Durrell was born in 1912 in India. He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St. Edmund's School, Canterbury. His first literary work,
The Black Book, appeared in Paris in 1938. His first collection of poems,
A Private Country, was published in 1943, followed by the three Island books:
Reflections on a Marine Venus, about Rhodes; and
Bitter Lemons, his account of life in Cyprus. Durrell's wartime sojourn in Egypt led to his masterpiece,
The Alexandria Quartet, which he completed in southern France, where he settled permanently in 1957. Between the quartet and
The Avignon Quintet he wrote the two-decker
Nunquam. His oeuvre includes plays, a book of criticism, translations, travel writing, and humorous stories about the diplomatic corps.
Caesar's Vast Ghost, his reflections on the history and culture of Provence, including a late flowering of poems, was published a few days before his death in Sommières in 1990.
Rediscover one of the twentieth century's greatest romances in Lawrence Durrell's seductive tale of four tangled lovers in wartime Egypt that is 'stunning' (Andre Aciman) and 'wonderful' (Elif Shafak) 'A masterpiece.' Guardian 'A formidable, glittering achievement.' TLS 'One of the great works of English fiction.' Times 'Dazzlingly exuberant ... Superb.' Observer 'Brave and brazen ... Lush and grandiose.' Independent 'Legendary ... Casts a spell ... Reader, watch out!' Guardian 'Lushly beautiful ... One of the most important works of our time.' NYTBR Alexandria, Egypt. Trams, palm trees and watermelon stalls lie honey-bathed in sunlight; in darkened bedrooms, sweaty lovers unfurl. But in a world trembling on the brink of the Second World War, passion and death are inextricable. When Darley, a penniless schoolteacher, begins an affair with Justine - a married Egyptian woman of unparalleled glamour - their partners, Melissa and Nessim, are sucked into a whirlpool of jealousy and violence. One of the twentieth-century's greatest romances, Lawrence Durrell's scandalous 'investigation of modern love' set the world alight in 1957. Rich in political and sexual intrigue, his epic masterpiece burns just as brightly today. Introduced by Jan Morris, this oomnibus edition collects all four novels together in all their glory. What Readers Are Saying - Justine (Book 1): 'Sometimes you discover a new author and know you're going to be friends for life ... One of the most beautiful books I've ever read.' 'I absolutely adored this book ... I felt sucked into it with an amazing force by the beauty of the words ... The backdrop of 1930s Egypt's literary circles and bohemian relationships is mesmerising ... Breathtaking.' 'Shimmering and dreamlike ... One of the most beautifully written books I've read ... All of life is here; can't wait for the next one.' 'Lush, brutal, beautiful ... Durrell captured a place and time that will never exist again.' 'What makes this novel truly spectacular is the language, the episodic jumps in time, the lush lyricism, and how Durrell so deftly manages to tie this all into both the city of Alexandria and the themes of passion, love, and jealousy. '