The Aurelian Legacy: British Butterflies and their Collectors

The Aurelian Legacy: British Butterflies and their Collectors

by Michael A. Salmon
     
 

This entertaining and informative book traces the history of butterfly collection in Britain from the seventeenth century, when the study of natural history had its beginnings. Our knowledge of butterflies is the result of four hundred years of collection and study. However, butterfly collecting is a controversial subject today, and given the present state of

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Overview

This entertaining and informative book traces the history of butterfly collection in Britain from the seventeenth century, when the study of natural history had its beginnings. Our knowledge of butterflies is the result of four hundred years of collection and study. However, butterfly collecting is a controversial subject today, and given the present state of butterfly populations, indiscriminate gathering of specimens can no longer be justified.


In addition to giving a history of butterfly collecting in Britain, this beautifully illustrated volume describes the equipment used and gives brief biographies of 101 deceased lepidopterists. The book is generously laced with anecdotes and quotations, and includes many contemporary monochrome portraits, accounts of selected species of historical interest, and an appraisal of the effects of collecting and of current conservation policies. Appendixes list all the British and Irish butterflies with their earlier, often confusing, and sometimes fanciful vernacular names, and provide a chronological account of entomological societies, publications, and significant events in the canon of British entomology.

The Aurelian Legacy is a fascinating account of the men and women who have made valuable contributions to our knowledge of British butterflies and of their early and often complex history. It is not only a good read but also an excellent reference source for current and future lepidopterists as well as social historians.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
An extraordinarily readable, accessible and fascinating account of a subculture that has never before been championed in a work for the public. It is a riveting and remarkable book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520229631
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/16/2001
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 1.13(d)

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Meet the Author

Michael A. Salmon is an amateur lepidopterist who has made a special study of butterfly variation in Britain. He has been responsible for saving a number of historic collections now in danger of destruction from neglect and decay.

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