Kingdom of Plaice?
February 25, 2011 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Lawrence Durrell's "Kingdom of Plaice" - does this novel about the independent nation of Redonda exist (perhaps under another name)?

I was recently reading Erwin S. Strauss' "How to Start Your Own Country", which describes a number of small "startup countries", started in the same spirit as Sealand. In his description of the Realm of Redonda he writes, "The country was described in a novel by Laurence [sic] Durrell, 'Kingdom of Plaice'." (p. 128)

I've tried to search for this novel, with no luck. Durrell is clearly linked to Redonda (see Here), but I can find no mention of him writing about it. The misspelling of Durrell's name and the lack of a proper reference obviously make the claim that this novel exists a bit fishy. However, I'm curious if Durrell actually did write about this country, and if so, what is the proper citation? Also, and this is perhaps not possible to answer, but I'm curious how the proper name (assuming he actually did write about it) was transformed into "Kingdoms of Plaice." Is it perhaps related to Gerald Durrell's "Fillets of Plaice"?
posted by Yiggs to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Probably a garbled memory of an essay about Redonda in Durrell's collection of travel essays called Spirit of Place.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:41 PM on February 25, 2011

Sidhedevil is correct on the name of Durrell's book. Here is a history of Redonda which will provide more information on Durrell's involvement.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:07 PM on February 25, 2011

It is also somewhat worth noting that Lawrence Durrell's brother, Gerald Durrell, wrote a book that had a title gently mocking his brother's Spirit of Place, Fillets of Plaice.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:10 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ah, wonderful! This has led me to this article, which has the following citation:

Durrell, Laurence, Spirit of Place: Letters and Essays on Travel, ed by Alan G. Thomas, New York: E. P. Dutton,1969 [Includes "Some Notes on My Friend John Gawsworth: 1962", pp 17- 23, discussing the legend at 22. This chapter was reprinted in The Kingdom of Redonda 1865-1990, ed by Paul de Fortis, Aylesford Press, 1990, 53-59.]

Thank you!
posted by Yiggs at 9:57 PM on February 25, 2011

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