The four novels of The Alexandria Quartet – Justine (1957), Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960) – appeared in rapid succession in Britain and the United States, exciting critical acclaim and enjoying popular success. Lawrence Durrell had been known to a small readership for his poetry, his experimental (and banned) novel The Black Book (1938), and his travel memoirs Prospero's Cell (1945) and Reflections on a Marine Venus (1953). Now, in four substantial volumes, he seemed to have marshalled his resources and staked a claim to both literary greatness and bestsellerdom. Whatever the merits of the works his contemporaries were producing in the 1950s, most of …
Koger, Grove. "The Alexandria Quartet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2002; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10820, accessed 18 April 2015.]