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An Obsession with Butterflies by Sharman Apt Russell
  

An Obsession with Butterflies

Books for the Boys   The Real World   

RRP £10.99

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The story of a man’s fascination with these beautiful insects, from Hindu mythology to Aztec sacrifices, Victorian collectors to Polish death camps. It even includes information on the butterfly’s life cycle, and could be the only book on the subject you’ll need.

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Synopsis

An Obsession with Butterflies by Sharman Apt Russell

From Hindu mythology to Aztec sacrifices, butterflies have served as a metaphor for resurrection and transformation. Even during World War II, children in a Polish death camp scratched hundreds of butterflies onto the wall of their barracks. But as Sharman Apt Russell points out in this rich and lyrical meditation, butterflies have above all been objects of obsession. From the beastly horned caterpillar whose blood helps it count time, to the peacock butterfly with wings that hiss like a snake, Russell traces butterflies through their life cycles, exploring the creatures' own obsessions with eating, mating, and migrating. She reveals the logic behind our endless fascination with butterflies as well as the driving passion of such legendary collectors as the tragic Eleanor Glanville, whose children declared her mad because of her compulsive butterfly collecting, and the brilliant Henry Walter Bates, whose collections from the Amazon in 1858 helped develop his theory of mimicry in nature. Russell also takes us inside some of the world's most prestigious natural history museums, where scientists painstakingly catalogue and categorize new species of Lepidoptera, hoping to shed light on insect genetics and evolution.

An Obsession with Butterflies is a luminous journey through an exotic world of strange beauty; a book to be treasured by anyone who's ever watched a butterfly mid-flight.

Reviews

From the Publisher
The story of man's fascination with butterflies, as symbols, as objects of beauty, and of obsession. In the tradition of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief.

About the Author

Sharman Apt Russell

Sharman Apt Russell is the author of Anatomy of a Rose. She teaches writing at Western New Mexico University and at Antioch University in Los Angeles, California.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th November 2004

Author

Sharman Apt Russell

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Author's Website

www.sharmanaptrussell.com/

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Publisher

Arrow

Format

Paperback
256 pages

Categories

Books for the Boys
The Real World

Wildlife: butterflies, other insects & spiders

ISBN

9780099471332

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