A History in Books
Distributed for British Library
Drawing on over six hundred publications, including Thomas Moffett’s The Theatre of Insects, published in 1634, and modern-day guides and scientific resources, David Dunbar’s unique and expansive book is the first to trace a four hundred year history of the appearance and discussion of British butterflies in books.
British Butterflies: A History in Books opens with a brief account of the growing interest in butterflies in the sixteenth century that led amateur naturalists to collect and publish their observations. Dunbar then examines the entire spectrum of butterfly-related literature, from the earliest discovery and naming of butterflies in the British Isles to contemporary scientific works on ecology and conservation. Throughout, British Butterflies: A History in Books is illustrated with color reproductions of fine prints from old butterfly and insect books, images of lepidopterists’ collecting equipment and other scientific artifacts, and examples of distribution mapping techniques.
Concisely written and beautifully illustrated, British Butterflies: A History in Books is a wonderful addition to the history of the book and a striking look at one of nature’s most delicate and ephemeral creatures.