This well researched book offers a fascinating view of a time when butterflies were pleantiful and collectors more readily tolerated. Ultimately, it is depressing in part I suppose, to read how the countryside has changed since the likes of Tutt, Frohawk and Newman contributed to our knowledge of our butterflies. The book gives a balanced view of the supposed harmful effects of collecting, and confirms that loss of habitat has been, and continues to be, of much greater significance. Since its publication, my 1st edition of Higgins and Riley was my most read Field Guide, but only now do I know more about these gentlemen than the endpaper of their guide. There are many celebrated people here, the very rich, the professional and the dedicated amateur; all united by a love of our most colourful insects (and some would say a love of luxuriant facial hair in many cases!)
I would recommend this book to all enthusiasts of Natural History, particulary anyone with an interest in butterflies, however slight. In addition to biographical detail of individual entomologists, it describes the history of many of the butterflies themselves.
I can see myself referring back to this book for many years to come, both for reference and for light reading about golden summer days long distant. I have often suspected that I was born 100 years too late, in these pages there is at least the opportunity to imagine what life was like!