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Lady of the Butterflies Paperback – 16 Jul 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Paperback, 16 Jul 2009
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Preface Publishing (16 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848091648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848091641
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 815,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It is a rare talent in an author to be able to mix rigorous historical research with the narrative energies and imagination of a true novelist. Fiona Mountain brings all of these skills to her entrancing Lady of the Butterflies. A vivid and fascinating novel about an extraordinary woman, I was gripped from beginning to end." (Katie Hickman)

"Fiona Mountain is a major new talent in the field of historical fiction. This is history told with integrity, with an authentic feel for the period and vividly rounded characters. All the colours and textures of the seventeenth century are eloquently realised here, in wonderful detail, and against this backdrop is set a haunting and tragic narrative. I have come away from this book having learned much about Lady Eleanor Glanville, and butterflies, in the most entertaining way possible. I eagerly await Fiona Mountain`s next book" (Alison Weir)

"A fascinating story ... richly and brilliantly detailed and full of love" (Elizabeth Buchan)

"My heart ached as I read this book because I knew at some point I would have to finish it. From the very first sentence I was caught by this wonderful and enchanting story, with a heroine you fall totally in love with and a world that I wish I could live in myself. It is as bewitching and wondrous as butterflies themselves and will be treasured as a read I will never forget." (Emilia Fox)

"Lady of the Butterflies is an enjoyable, dramatic and intriguing tale that I found almost impossible to put down. It has a wonderful sense of period and well-observed, compelling characters who I really cared about. Love and passion, in their many forms, are at its heart and as an actress I was particularly drawn to Eleanor Glanville, a strong and emotional woman whose many joys and hardships I fully shared" (Thelma Barlow) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

Fiona Mountain is a major new talent in the field of historical fiction. This is history told with integrity, with an authentic feel for the period and vividly rounded characters. All the colours and textures of the seventeenth century are eloquently realised here, in wonderful detail, and against this backdrop is set a haunting and tragic narrative. I have come away from this book having learned much about Lady Eleanor Glanville, and butterflies, in the most entertaining way possible. I eagerly await Fiona Mountain’s next book. - Alison Weir

A fascinating story … richly and brilliantly detailed and full of love and heartbreak - Elizabeth Buchan

It is a rare talent in an author to be able to mix rigorous historical research with the narrative energies and imagination of a true novelist. Fiona Mountain brings all of these skills to her entrancing Lady of the Butterflies. A vivid and fascinating novel about an extraordinary woman, I was gripped from beginning to end. - Katie Hickman

My heart ached as I read this book because I knew at some point I would have to finish it. From the very first sentence I was caught by this wonderful and enchanting story, with a heroine you fall totally in love with and a world that I wish I could live in myself. It is as bewitching and wondrous as butterflies themselves and will be treasured as a read I will never forget. - Emilia Fox

Lady of the Butterflies
is an enjoyable, dramatic and intriguing tale that I found almost impossible to put down. It has a wonderful sense of period and well-observed, compelling characters who I really cared about. Love and passion, in their many forms, are at its heart and as an actress I was particularly drawn to Eleanor Glanville, a strong and emotional woman whose many joys and hardships I fully shared. - Thelma Barlow

Rich and brilliant ... Fiona Mountain is an extraordinary talent, an impressive writer and an exceptional storyteller. - The Lady

Fiona Mountain has written a powerful and sexually charged novel set in the shadow of the English Civil War. Lady of the Butterflies is a fascinating historical novel capturing the life of Eleanor Glanville, a woman of terrific scientific discipline and worldly passion. Eleanor's life is one of personal upheaval and her story is set in the Somerset Marshlands that face social and agricultural revolution. Mountain's novel describes Eleanor's discovery of the Glanville Fritillary, a rare butterfly that reflects Eleanor's immense strength, beauty and frailty. It's a brilliant historical novel filled with fascinating detail and stunning imagery. - The Bookseller

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The curious customs and beliefs of people, from all walks of life during the 17th century, which emerge during the course of this book give the reader a real sense of how it would be to live during these times. Fiona Mountain's writing is so descriptive you get pulled into this book without realizing it and it is impossible not to feel for Eleanor Glanville, a woman who was truly ahead of her time, while she struggles to conform to her expected place in society and still pursues her love of nature and science in the face of scorn and ridicule. For me the characters in this book are no longer merely names from the past, they have become full of life and I have been left with a longing to learn more about this period in history! Eleanor Glanville is an inspiration for us all and the author tells such a beautiful story I would be surprised if you will be able to put it down - I know I couldn't!
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Format: Paperback
I was enthralled from start to finish. A wonderfully atmospheric book with a great storyline and very well-written characters. Set in the 1600s and based on fact it has much relevance today as it touches on wetland destruction and flooding and gives fascinating insights into the way butterflies and science were viewed in those early days. Above all though, it is a captivating love story. If you like historical fiction (and even if you don't!) you will love this book.
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Format: Paperback
"All I ever wanted was to be happy, to love and to be loved, and for my life to count for something." If this resonates with your own journey through life then you will love Fiona Mountains latest bestseller Lady of the Butterflies. The book centres on Eleanor Glanvilles life as she struggles with the messages the world reflects back to her about who she is, it is a story of love, lust, longing,loss and triumph over adversity and I couldnt put it down. One of my favourite books of all time.
If you are looking for a book to take on holiday or curl up with during those autumn evenings by the fire I would throughly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Once again I find myself in the minority by not liking a book everyone else loves. I think I would feel more comfortable awarding it two and a half stars, as I'm not writing this review to say this is a bad book - I can't say, as I didn't get very far. The thing that was immediately noticeable was the overuse of adjectives. However, I carried on reading until eventually I started getting that 'sinking heart' feeling that descends on me whenever I know I'm not going to like a book. There is some clunky writing, pretty much from the word go, but the final straw came when I read - 'It was not wrong to want to be happy, to want all the things I badly wanted'. Others might think that I'm making a fuss, but of course it's just down to personal taste and what you find acceptable when reading a book. It's a bit of a shame, as I think there is probably a good story in there somewhere - it just wasn't for me. Don't let me put you off reading it as other people have given it glowing reviews, as with everything in life it is always best to make your own mind up.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is actually a great book but I bought the kindle version just because i like the author and didn't have this title so I didn't read the reviews. I really think that the description should make it clear at the top of the page that this is a new title for Lady of the Butterflies, I already own this as a paperback and have read 2% of the book with a strange feeling of déjà vu before investigating.
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Format: Paperback
As the story begins, Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians are out and Charles Stuart is in. Eleanor is the daughter of Major William Goodricke, a strict Puritan and former soldier in Cromwell's army. Her father dies, leaving the family's estate in Somerset, Tickenham Court, to a very young Eleanor. Her ward-ship is given to a like-minded associate of her father's and he eventually marries her off to Edmund Ashfield. Eleanor loves her husband (so she thinks) but what about Edmund's great friend, the dashing and ever so charming cavalier Richard Glanville who sets her heart a-flutter?

Eleanor settles into married life and motherhood, but the lure of the butterflies sends her flitting about the countryside in chase of them. Tragedy strikes, leaving Eleanor widowed - can she resist the charms of the oh-so-hunky Richard Glanville or will she keep her independence and control of her property? Well you know I'm not going to tell you but let's just say that events start taking a dark turn and her fascination with the butterflies has spooked the superstitious country folk and leaving her vulnerable to accusations of madness and witchcraft. Can she hold onto her property and her freedom? Or will she lose it all?

"no one who was not deprived of their senses would go in pursuit of butterflies"

This was a beautifully written novel, and one I had a hard time putting down. A lot of time is spent on Eleanor and her beloved butterflies, as well as the debates over whether or not to drain the fens (a very hot issue among the commonors) and may not suit readers liking their books action packed with heroines leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but for those who want to sit back and savor some lovely prose with a glass of red wine or a box of chocolates (or both!
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