The post is by writer Michael Haag, who is an expert on Alexandria and Egypt and has written several books about the city that inspired Durrell’s most famous novels. Eve, or Yvette, Cohen was the inspiration for Justine, the beautiful Jewish Alexandrian woman at the center of the Alexandria Quartet. Eve was the mother of Durrell’s second child, Sappho.
In the photograph of Eve and Michael in the blog post, Eve is aged 80 yet she still looks beautiful and one can imagine how absolutely stunning she must have been when she first met Durrell in Alexandria in the 1940s.
There is a lovely photograph of Eve as a schoolgirl here on Flickr. The lady who posted the photo is a relative of Eve, and explains that Eve’s sister Dolly is still alive and lives here in Israel. It would be wonderful to talk to her! Imagine what memories she must have.
Durrell famously wrote that “there are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature” and it seems he did all three with Eve.
Eve passed away in London in 2004.