A query from the publicist at Virago about exclusivity in research prompted me to look at this afresh. Some first thoughts: obviously there has been some material which only I’ve had access to, handwritten stuff by my mother, etc, but the point of the book is much more than that. I think it adds a fresh perspective and a depth to a often told story, and provides a fresh insight into Durrell’s formative creative period – and by telling Nancy’s story before and after her decade with Durrell, it kind of represents all those women who are only known for the period when their lives intersect with those of famous men. I was struck when I read the excellent novel The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain, that her story begins and ends with Hemingway. Or at least, that is how it is told. Nancy was definitely swamped by LD when they were together, but she unswamped, if there is such a word, afterwards. And that is important too.
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