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on 22 April 2016
If your interest in butterflies has advanced beyond a pocket field guide and you want to understand more then do consider The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland. I've looked through many books on the subject in the last year in my search for a decent book on the subject and this is definitely the best one of them all.

The introduction by the author (Jeremy Thomas) and the artist (Richard Lewington) states that "The aim of this book is to share some of the pleasure that butterflies have given us in the course of our careers". I think the aim has been fulfilled completely in this volume - the knowledge and enthusiasm shown makes this book hard to put down. For each of the 71 butterflies described, there are details on the lifecycle, ecology, behaviour, conservation, best locations as well as anecdotal information and histories. The text is detailed and interesting and conveys information in a way that is easy to understand. The illustrations by Richard Lewington are absolutely exquisite and make this book something to treasure.

If you want a definitive reference on butterflies or simply to own a beautiful work of art - look no further!
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on 21 May 2016
Of all my fairly extensive range of identification guides to flora and fauna this is probably my favourite.

The book itself is beautifully put together - it's size makes it unwieldy as a field guide but allows for the content to be displayed in an uncluttered way.

The text is excellent. Thomas's style is informal and he brings a lot of colour in his descriptions. There are some helpful pointers on actually finding the species listed - for the widespread but elusive green hairstreak for example he recommends finding suitable shrubs for perching between 1-2 metres high and suggests giving them a sharp nudge to disturb the butterflies into flight.

There are valuable distribution maps and very useable charts explaining what stage of the insects life cycle they will be in at any given time of year.

Lewington's illustrations, it probably shouldn't need to be said, are of the highest quality and show their subjects to scale which is helpful.

I would suggest that anyone who has an interest in butterflies should own this book. For those complaining about size I'd suggest also purchasing a very cheap pocket sized ID guide which can be used as a quick reference in the field - I use the Collins Concise Butterfly and Moth guide which is truly very basic but can be picked up new at the time of writing on Amazon market place for 86p plus postage and packaging.
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on 11 November 2010
I purchased this book due to the fact I've been photographic Butterflies over the last year and needed something to help me identify them.

I stumbled upon this book and the reviews a few weeks back and can confirm what everyone is saying about it. The book really is an excellent guide to British Butterflies. The information contained within it, coupled with the beautiful illustrations really do mark this book out as something special.

The quality of the printing and the binding are also first class. If the first printing of this book sold out all those years ago, then I suspect this version will too. Buy it before it too becomes a rarity.
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on 20 August 2011
This is a fabulous book. I have had an interest in butterflies since taking up photography a few years ago. The book is very well written and for non-entomologists and non-lepidopterists it will make easy and informative reading.

The illustrations by Richard Lewington are, as always, exquisite. The text provides a thorough insight into each species, but for the general reader it also provides lots of interesting little tidbits covering the author's observations on each butterfly.

It is not a portable field guide but it is a book which can be happily read when at home. I have a number of butterfly books. When looking for some information on a butterfly visitor to my garden I always turn to this book first and I rarely then need to look at another.
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on 12 February 2018
Like this because it includes Caterpillars and the Butterflies. Most other books don’t. Also more description as concerntrates on main species you see in the UK.
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on 13 April 2018
excellent book. Gives much more information than just about identity. Gives caterpillar food plants as well as adult requirements. Very detailed and comprehensive, for the novice or expert. Recommended.
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on 10 June 2017
This is the best book on the subject of UK butterflies. I don't think this will ever be topped. The art is superb and the text is detailed, just what I like. It would be great for anyone with any interest in UK insects. If there were six stars I'd give it six.
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on 21 March 2014
Really love this book although it's not one to take out in the field. Information is extremely comprehensive and the illustrations are just amazing. No one who loves Butterflies should be without this book. It's opened up a whole new world for me as I have now purchased a small lens and I'm searching for Butterfly eggs thanks to the lifelike and accurate illustrations. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 26 December 2017
Everything perfect. Thanks
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on 3 March 2018
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