33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I'm a butterfly convert,
This review is from: The Butterfly Isles: A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals (Hardcover)I picked this up after meeting the author briefly at a book festival* rather than out of any interest in butterflies, so I wasn't prepared for how fascinated I was about to become. For a start, it's brilliantly written: Barkham conjures the personalities and foibles of each species of UK butterfly (I liked the 'viscious, self-satisfied' Green Hairstreak, with its dirty sexual morals, best) in lucid, witty and beautifully-coloured prose, and manages to tap back into a childhood fascination with nature - he's still looking, wide-eyed, at things most grown ups are too busy to see.
This book is more than just nature writing, though: it's travelogue, journalism, history (of the Aurelian movement, those eccentric old Victorian lepidopterists) and also social geography: the story of Britain's butterflies is bound up with the story of Britain's changing urban and rural spaces over the last century. It's also an examination of the obsessive behaviour of collectors, a touching tribute to a father-son relationship, and there's a cracking narrative binding it all together, too. An utterly lovely read.
*He was wearing a t-shirt with butterflies on it.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Oct 2010 15:35:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Oct 2010 15:35:58 BDT
Rob Sawyer says:
I'm getting really suspicious now, two reviews, both 5 stars and both reviews the reviewer's only review!
I wish my copy would hurry up and arrive!
‹ Previous 1 Next ›