Gerry is the narrator of the novel; he's ten years old when his family moves to Corfu, a Greek island. Gerry's youth means that he's the first member of the family to learn Greek, and… (read full character analysis)
Theodore is a freshwater biologist and general biology enthusiast whom Gerry meets through George. He's always impeccably dressed and has an impressive beard (which Gerry believes is compelling evidence that he's an esteemed scientist)… (read full character analysis)
Larry is Gerry's oldest brother; he's 23 at the start of the novel. He's a writer and brings so many books with him to Corfu that he has to engage local workmen to use a… (read full character analysis)
Mother is the widowed head of the Durrell family. Her primary interests are cooking rich, exotic foods and gardening. She does her best to support her children in their respective interests and endeavors and steer… (read full character analysis)
Leslie is Gerry's second brother. He's 19 at the start of the novel and his primary interests are guns and hunting. He purchases a number of firearms over the course of the novel and takes… (read full character analysis)
Margo is Gerry's only sister; she's 18 at the beginning of the novel. Her primary goal in life is to cure her acne, and she uses a number of lotions and potions to attempt this… (read full character analysis)
Kralefsky is Gerry's final tutor on Corfu. Gerry initially thinks that Kralefsky is more gnome than human, as he's bald and has a hunchback. Though he is an exacting tutor in all subjects, he also… (read full character analysis)
Roger is the Durrell family dog and Gerry's constant companion. He's large and black, with a curly coat and a stumpy tail. He's extremely loyal to his family and on multiple occasions attacks things or… (read full character analysis)
George is one of Larry's friends and is the person responsible for inspiring the Durrells' move to Corfu in the first place. After the Durrells are settled, he tutors Gerry until he leaves the island… (read full character analysis)
During an interim in Gerry's education, Mother engages the Belgian consul to teach Gerry French. The Belgian consul is always dressed as though he's preparing for an important meeting with someone, and his living room… (read full character analysis)
Peter is a young man whom Mother engages to tutor Gerry. Though he's exacting at first, the culture of the island soon takes effect and he becomes much more reasonable and pleasant. Gerry observes… (read full character analysis)
Dodo is a female Dandy Dinmont Terrier whom Mother brings home as a companion. True to her breed's characteristics, Dodo is exceptionally loyal to her mistress—often loyal to a fault. She shadows Mother everywhere and… (read full character analysis)
The Turk is a young Turkish man that Margo begins a romantic relationship with at the strawberry-pink villa. Margo initially tries to keep their relationship secret, but Spiro informs Mother of the Turk's presence, telling… (read full character analysis)
Jonquil, Durant, and Michael are friends of Larry's and a group of artists that visit at the daffodil-yellow villa. Though they all insist they want to get work done during their stay in Corfu, none… (read full character analysis)
Yani is a local shepherd in Corfu and one of Gerry's best friends. Yani is always ready to share local folklore with Gerry and offer him information to keep him safe. He shows Gerry how… (read full character analysis)
The Rose-Beetle Man is a strange local fixture in Corfu. He dresses eccentrically and never speaks, though he plays the flute and sings in a strange, nasal voice. He sells a variety of animals as… (read full character analysis)
Alecko is a large and cantankerous black-backed gull whom Gerry acquires from the convict Kosti. Kosti found Alecko in Albania, and, as a prisoner, he struggles to feed him properly. Despite Gerry's admiration for… (read full character analysis)
Achilles is a small, young tortoise that Gerry purchases from the Rose-Beetle Man. He very quickly becomes tame enough to be given the run of the garden at the strawberry-pink villa. He adores both… (read full character analysis)
Kosti is a convict that Gerry meets while swimming in the ocean one day. In Greece, convicts are allowed to leave the prison, something that doesn't strike Gerry as strange at all. Kosti gives Gerry… (read full character analysis)
Lugaretzia is the gardener's wife at the daffodil-yellow villa, and Mother engages her to work in the villa. Though Mother insists they need the help, Lugaretzia proves trying to have around: she's a hypochondriac and… (read full character analysis)
Widdle and Puke are two puppies that a friend gives the Durrells on the occasion of Gerry's birthday. Because they're a gift, Mother is forced to accept them. They receive their names after being locked… (read full character analysis)
Geronimo is a large gecko who lives under a rock in the garden right below Gerry's window at the white villa. He hunts insects in Gerry's room at night and gets into a violent battle… (read full character analysis)
Melanie is a countess that Larry invites to visit at the daffodil-yellow villa. Gerry and Larry find her fascinating and delightful, but Mother mishears Melanie when she mentions an affliction she recently recovered from and comes to believe that Melanie has an unladylike venereal disease.
Quasimodo is a dove that Gerry purchases from the Rose-Beetle Man. Because he's raised from a tiny baby by the Durrell family, he never learns to fly or truly act like a bird. He loves human companionship and music, especially waltzes and military marches.
Madame Cyclops is a very large tortoise with only one eye. Though Gerry never tries to capture and domesticate her, she does become relatively tame and learns that Gerry is a wonderful source of food. Gerry witnesses her laying eggs and takes one for his collection.
Mrs. Kralefsky is Kralefsky's elderly mother. She lives in Kralefsky's mansion and spends much of her time in bed, listening to the flowers talk. Gerry is entranced by her hair, which is extremely long and still auburn, even in her old age.
The resident doctor on Corfu; he has a delightful bedside manner and makes strange noises when attending to patients. He also has six children, which Spiro teases him mercilessly about.
Zatopec is one of Larry's friends that Larry invites to stay at the daffodil-yellow villa. He's a heavy drinker and pesters all the local girls and women, including Lugaretzia.
Great-Aunt Hermione only appears in the novel through her letters to Mother, which are met by Gerry, Margo, Larry, and Leslie with derision and disgust. Larry insists that Hermione is a hypochondriac and awful to be around.
Cicely is a huge praying mantis that Gerry captures when he realizes she's full of eggs. He hopes that he'll be able to observe her egg-laying habits, but this hope is dashed when she escapes, gets into a fight with Geronimo the gecko, and dies.
Ulysses is a Scops owl that Gerry collects when he's a baby. Though he's initially aggressive, especially towards Roger, he eventually decides that Roger is an acceptable form of transportation. He lives in Gerry's study in the daffodil-yellow villa.
A hotel guide who shows the Durrells villas. He's distraught when Mother asks for one with a bathroom.
Sophia is the maid's youngest daughter at the snow-white villa. Mother engages her to carry Dodo's puppy around on a pillow.
The snakes are two nonpoisonous water snakes that Gerry captures in the ocean with the help of Roger, Widdle, and Puke.
Old Plop is a very large and very old terrapin. Gerry finally manages to capture him after months of attempts and installs him in a pond with the snakes.
Agathi is an old woman who teaches Gerry Greek folk songs and corrects his Greek pronunciation when the Durrells first move to Corfu.
Aphrodite is Yani's wife.