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Shortlisted for the Galaxy New Writer of the Year 2010.
Butterflies animate our summers but the 59 butterfly species of the British Isles can be surprisingly elusive. Some bask unseen at the top of trees in London parks; others lurk at the bottom of damp bogs in Scotland. A few survive for months while other ephemeral creatures only fly for three days. Several are virtually extinct. This bewitching book charts Patrick Barkham's quest to find all 59 - from the Adonis Blue to the Dingy Skipper - in one unforgettable summer. Wry, attentive, full of infectious delight and curiosity, written with a beautifully light touch, Butterfly Isles will become a classic of British nature writing.
Barkham brings alive the extraordinary physical beauty and amusingly diverse character of our butterflies. He witnesses a swarming invasion of Painted Ladies, experiences the curse of the Purple Emperor, makes a euphoric sighting of an exceedingly rare migrant and as summer draws to a close, suffers from butterfly burnout. He meets some deeply knowledgeable and eccentric butterfly obsessives and reconnects with lovely, overlooked corners of our countryside. As he goes, he looks back at the butterfly collectors of the past and ahead to a future in which many of our butterflies will struggle to survive on an overcrowded and overheating island.
Publication date: 07/10/2010
Publisher: Granta Books
|Publication date:||7th October 2010|
|Genres:||The Real World,|
Patrick Barkham was born in 1975 in Norfolk and was educated at Cambridge University. He is a features writer for the Guardian, where he has reported on everything from the Iraq War to climate change. He lives in London but spends most of his weekends in Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk. His first book, The Butterfly Isles, was short listed for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje prize. He is currently working on a new book about badgers, to be published by Granta Books.More About Patrick Barkham