Lawrence Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet

Grove Koger (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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The four novels of

The Alexandria Quartet






(1958), and


(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 those seemed cautious and provincial compared to Durrell's unabashedly romantic and experimental novels.


2107 words

Citation: Koger, Grove. "The Alexandria Quartet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2002 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

10820 The Alexandria Quartet 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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