The Full Wiki

More info on Mountolive

Mountolive: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First UK edition
Author Lawrence Durrell
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series The Alexandria Quartet
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Faber and Faber
Publication date 1958
Media type Print (Paperback and Hardback)
Preceded by Balthazar
Followed by Clea

Mountolive, published in 1958, is the third volume in the The Alexandria Quartet series by British author Lawrence Durrell. Set in Alexandria, Egypt around WWII, the four novels tell essentially the same story from different points of view and come to a conclusion in Clea. Mountolive is the only third person narrative in the series, and it is also the most overtly political.

The novel's tensions begin with young David Mountolive on the Hosnani estate, where he has begun an affair with Leila Hosnani, mother of Nessim and Narouz. This leads to a recollection of Mountolive's maturation and career as a diplomat, leading up to the present day of the novel series, at which point Mountolive recontextualizes the materials that appeared previously in Justine and Balthazar. Mountolive then introduces a Coptic gunrunning plot in support of Zionism. Many critics have ridiculed this as a ludicrous idea[1], but more recently scholars have demonstrated the intensely political and well-informed background for Durrell's notions[2].

The novel ends questioning the role that Narouz will play, referring to his whip and the unresolved political plot.


  1. ^ Manzalaoui, Mahmoud (1962). "Curate's Egg: An Alexandrian Opinion of Durrell's Quartet." Etudes Anglaises 15.3.   pp. 248-260.
  2. ^ Haag, Michael (2004). Alexandria: City of Memory. Yale University Press.  

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address