The Overloaded Ark

Gerald Durrell's first book


Gerald Durrell, illustrated by Sabine Baur


Faber & Faber, London, 1953
The Overloaded ArkThe Overloaded ArkThe Overloaded Ark

Printing Details

First edition, first printing hardback in dustwrapper. 22.5 × 14.5cm, 238pp.

Gerald Durrell's first book. It is the chronicle of a six months collecting trip to the West African colony of British Cameroon (now Cameroon) in 1947/48 that Durrell made with the highly regarded aviculturist and ornithologist John Yealland. Its combination of comic exaggeration and environmental accuracy, portrayed in Durrell's light, clever prose, made it a great success. It launched Durrell's career as a writer of both non-fiction and fiction, which in turn financed his work as a zookeeper and conservationist.


A good reading copy. The book itself, whilst in fairly sound shape, is foxed to the page edges and with some loosening to the front hinge. The inner binding is secure, the text pages clean, but with a slightly musty odour. The dustwrapper suffers some light creasing to the edges and tanning to the spine but has not been price-clipped and is now within a protective sleeve.

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