26th February 1951

Gerald Durrell marries the woman who will help him found his zoo

Jacquie Wolfenden was a trained opera singer, and the daughter of a Manchester hotel owner, in whose establishment Durrell stayed at the end of an expedition. It was there that they met and started a relationship that culminated in marriage on 26 February 1951

They founded Jersey Zoo together and, with Durrell’s author brother, Lawrence, she encouraged him to write the series of world-famous books that detailed his adventures collecting animals. However, the stress of both his alcoholism and his increasing workload eventually drove them apart. They divorced in 1979, and Gerald married Lee Wilson later the same year.


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