My Family and Other Animals

by

Gerald Durrell

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Leslie Durrell 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 part in hunting expeditions both on Corfu and on the Greek mainland. Gerry occasionally joins him on these expeditions. Leslie is of the mind that if one can hunt and sail, one can get by in life just fine. Gerry uses this belief to his advantage when he convinces Leslie to build him a boat for his birthday. Leslie is often at odds with Larry, given that Leslie has practical skills while Larry is irritatingly convinced that one can do anything, assuming one has the brain to think it through logically. This leads to a number of shenanigans as Larry either suggests or attempts to perform feats with guns or hunting that do actually require practice. Leslie loves regaling the family with tales of his hunting adventures, though nobody is particularly interested in listening. He is also terrified of snakes.

Leslie Durrell Quotes in My Family and Other Animals

The My Family and Other Animals quotes below are all either spoken by Leslie Durrell or refer to Leslie Durrell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of My Family and Other Animals published in 1956.
Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

"He appears to have only one interest," said Larry bitterly, "and that's this awful urge to fill things with animal life. I don't think he ought to be encouraged in that. Life is fraught with danger as it is. I went to light a cigarette only this morning and a damn great bumblebee flew out of the box."

Related Characters: Larry Durrell (speaker), Gerry Durrell, Mother, Leslie Durrell, Margo Durrell
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Conversation Quotes

"Don't be ridiculous. Whoever heard of moving into a larger house because you've invited some friends to stay?"

"What's the matter with the idea? It seems a perfectly sensible solution to me; after all, if you say there's no room here, the obvious thing to do is to move."

Related Characters: Larry Durrell (speaker), Mother (speaker), Gerry Durrell, Leslie Durrell, Margo Durrell
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

A pot of black paint was produced and laboriously, in rather trickly capitals, I traced her name along the side: THE BOOTLE-BUMTRINKET. There it was; not only an unusual name, but an aristocratically hyphenated one as well. In order to ease Mother's mind I had to promise that I would refer to the boat only as the Bootle in conversation with strangers.

Related Characters: Gerry Durrell (speaker), Larry Durrell, Mother, Leslie Durrell
Related Symbols: The Bootle-Bumtrinket
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3, Chapter 18 Quotes

"I assure you the house is a death-trap. Every conceivable nook and cranny is stuffed with malignant faunae waiting to pounce...A simple, innocuous action like lighting a cigarette is fraught with danger. Even the sanctity of my bedroom is not respected. First, I was attacked by a scorpion...Now we have snakes in the bath and huge flocks of albatrosses flapping around the house, making noises like defective plumbing."

Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:
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Leslie Durrell Character Timeline in My Family and Other Animals

The timeline below shows where the character Leslie Durrell appears in My Family and Other Animals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: The Migration
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...on all their usual ills: Gerry is extremely congested; Margo's acne is worse than usual; Leslie is battling ear infections; Mother has a cold. Larry is the only one well, though... (full context)
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..."travels light" and brings only the bare necessities. Margo packs flowing garments and acne remedies; Leslie brings guns; Larry packs trunks of books; Mother brings cooking and gardening books; and Gerry... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 1: The Unsuspected Isle
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...quay. Larry walks quickly and with a disdainful expression on his face, followed by Gerry, Leslie, Margo, and Mother, who looks harried and annoyed. Roger (the dog) drags Mother to a... (full context)
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...loudly at them. The street dogs immediately race after the cab and bark back, and Leslie struggles to keep Roger from leaping out. Soon, two-dozen dogs are chasing the cab, and... (full context)
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...seems to enjoy himself as he waves the whip at the street dogs while Mother, Leslie, Gerry, and Margo haul Roger, still snarling, into the hotel. When they're all inside, Mother... (full context)
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...while later. Larry is thrilled with Corfu thus far, but Mother tries to seem noncommittal. Leslie is annoyed, as the manager couldn't bring him toilet paper. Margo pipes up helpfully that... (full context)
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...Mother decides to hire a car and hunt for a villa with a bathroom herself. Leslie, Larry, Margo, and Gerry are unconvinced they'll find such a thing. (full context)
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...the drivers' altercation was actually mild by Greek standards. As Mother becomes more flustered and Leslie angrier, a loud voice, speaking English, booms over the crowd. It belongs to a short,... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: The Strawberry-Pink Villa
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...her if he sees anything amiss with her children. Mother adores him, and Spiro adores her—Leslie and Larry often pester Spiro by jokingly insulting Mother's parenting abilities. Gerry refers to him... (full context)
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Leslie spends his days practicing shooting his revolvers at tin cans from his bedroom window, though... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Rose-Beetle Man
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...eats breakfast outside under the tangerine trees. By the end of the meal Mother, Larry, Leslie, and Margo begin arguing about what each is going to do that day. Gerry wolfs... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: A Bushel of Learning
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...Gerry to receive education. The entire family offers opinions as to what should be done: Leslie offers to teach Gerry to shoot and sail; Margo insists that Gerry must learn to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5: A Treasure of Spiders
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...one's roof. He hopes to see Theodore again and is thrilled when two days later, Leslie arrives with a parcel for Gerry. It's from Theodore and contains a pocket microscope and... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: The Sweet Spring
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...One evening, Mother and Larry spend the evening home together and when Gerry, Margo, and Leslie return, they find both of them in a fit of drunken depression. (full context)
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...Turk turns out to be condescending and smug. Mother overdoes the charm while Larry and Leslie nastily engage the Turk in conversation. The Turk appears oblivious, and the next day invites... (full context)
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Leslie, Larry, and Gerry wait up for Margo and Mother's return long past when they expected... (full context)
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Leslie purchases a double-barreled shotgun to shoot turtledoves and wood pigeons and invites Gerry to come... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9: The World in a Wall
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...scorpion onto the table, scattering babies everywhere. Roger begins barking wildly and bites Lugaretzia, while Leslie and Margo scream. The scorpions hide under plates and cutlery. (full context)
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...only word of French is "oui." The "conversations" are nerve-wracking for her, and Gerry, Larry, Leslie, and Margo sometimes whisper to her that the consul is coming just to watch her... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10: The Pageant of Fireflies
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Larry, Peter, Margo, Leslie, Gerry, and Roger begin taking the family boat, the Sea Cow, down to a small... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: The Enchanted Archipelago
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...pins, while Gerry asks Larry for books. Gerry waits for the right moment to ask Leslie for a boat. After helping him with a ballistic experiment, Gerry manages to back Leslie... (full context)
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The day of the party, Gerry inspects all his gifts and then Leslie leads him outside to show him the boat. It's the most beautiful thing Gerry has... (full context)
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Margo, Peter, Larry, and Leslie carry the Bootle-Bumtrinket to the jetty, where Gerry and Mother open a bottle of wine... (full context)
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The party rages on and several guests, including Leslie and Spiro, begin a traditional Greek dance in the living room. Dr. Androuchelli arrives late... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12: The Woodcock Winter
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...to marry, so Mother fires Peter. Margo is distraught and "plays the part" perfectly, while Leslie takes on the role of the outraged brother and threatens to shoot Peter should he... (full context)
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After discovering several items missing from the Sea Cow, Leslie arranges a series of guns in his window that he can fire with the pull... (full context)
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...snow. The sky turns gray and the wind and rain whistle through the dry trees. Leslie loves the winter, as it's shooting season. He takes several trips to the mainland to... (full context)
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Mother is concerned about how large the boar is, though Leslie assures her there's little danger unless a boar bursts out of the underbrush right underfoot.... (full context)
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One evening, Leslie returns from a trip and explains in detail how he pulled off his first "left-and-right,"... (full context)
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Margo and Gerry follow Larry and Leslie down to the swampy valley where the birds congregate. Larry complains the whole way, especially... (full context)
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Gerry and Leslie race to Larry's room, which is full of smoke. Larry is fast asleep. Margo follows... (full context)
Part 2: Conversation
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Larry, Mother, Leslie, and Margo argue over what to do about Hermione's request. They suggest outlandish ideas such... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 15: The Cyclamen Woods
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...no mood to help him name the new additions. Margo and Mother are curious, while Leslie, Larry, and Spiro declare that the babies are disgusting. Leslie cautions Gerry to not allow... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 16: The Lake of Lilies
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...Mother insists they must go by boat so that Dodo doesn't vomit in the car. Leslie asks why Dodo won't be sick in the boat, to which Mother explains that people... (full context)
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At the lake, Leslie, Gerry, and Theodore divide the lake in half so Gerry and Theodore can collect specimens... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 17: The Chessboard Fields
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...an eagle. Alecko ferociously makes noise as Gerry tries to untie his beak, which brings Leslie and Larry downstairs. Leslie is intrigued, but Larry is terrified and believes Alecko is an... (full context)
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...Gerry explains how he got Alecko and leaves out that he also captured snakes, as Leslie hates snakes. Mother is aghast that Kosti is a convict and killed his wife, but... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 18: An Entertainment with Animals
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...escape. Gerry searches for him but can't find him, so he joins the arriving guests. Leslie appears out of the olive groves, carrying a bag full of game. He goes into... (full context)
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Suddenly, everyone hears a bellow from in the house. Leslie promptly appears, wrapped in a tiny towel, yelling about Gerry and snakes in the bathtub.... (full context)