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In his hugely popular Prospero's Cell, Lawrence Durrell brought Corfu to life, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the island. With Reflections on a Marine Venus, he turns to Rhodes: ranging over its past and present, touching with wit and insights on the history and myth which the landscape embodies, and presenting some real and some imagined. With the same wit, tenderness and poetic insight that characterized Prospero's Cell, Reflections on a Marine Venus is an excellent introduction the Eastern Mediterranean.
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: Prospero's Cell, 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 Tunc and 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, appeared a few days before his death in Sommieres in 1990.