First edition, first printing. Inscribed presentation copy. With a typed letter signed and an original drawing. Publisher's original green cloth with silver titles to the spine, in the Ralph Thompson illustrated dustwrapper. An excellent near fine copy, the binding square and firm with a little bumping at the spine tips and corners, the cloth and silver fresh. The contents are clean throughout and without spotting or previous owner's inscriptions or stamps. Complete with the rubbed and nicked dustwrapper which has a couple of tiny chips at the head of the spine. Not price-clipped (16s net to the front flap).
Inscribed by the author in blue ink on the front endpaper "For Wendy [underlined] / with much love from her / ex-neighbours / Gerry and Jacquie Durrell [underlined] / 1956". Loosely laid in is a fabulous, typed letter from the author to Wendy on his 51 St Alban's Avenue, Bournmouth headed notepaper "We have now got the top flat at Margaret's [Margo's]" catching up on current news "Ten-thousand apologies for the long silence. Unfortunately the London project came to grief and we never got established, and since then we have been trying madly to get people interested in us and our 'works'. However the upshot of the whole affair is that we are leaving on the 16th December on our third expedition to the Cameroons. This time we are after gorilla, and we hope that our shining eager faces will once more pollute the T. V. screens on our return". It continues in typically Durrellesque fashion "Incidentally, we now have four monkeys who live in the garage - 2 Spider monkeys and two Dourocoulis. They are very sweet and cost us a fortune in food". Before signing off with initials within a humerous original illustration he notes "The new book is certainly doing awfully well, and we thought that you might like to while away some pleasant hours reading it. We send it to you on two conditions - (a) that you do not lend it to anybody (b) that you tell everyone how wonderful it is". An outstanding presentation copy of the first and best known book in Gerald Durrell's autobiographical 'Corfu trilogy', a never out of print classic and the basis of several successful television adaptations. The commercial success of this publication financed the above mentioned 1957 trip to Cameroon enabling the author to collect animals which would form the core collection of his own zoo.
Stock code: 19494