An Obsession with Butterflies
Our Long Love Affair with a Singular Insect
By (author) Sharman Apt Russell
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Obsession with Butterflies by Sharman Apt Russell
Book DescriptionFrom 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; this is a book to be treasured by anyone who's ever watched a butterfly mid-flight.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099471332
(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publish Date: 4-Nov-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Sharman Apt Russell
Standing in the Light, Hardback (July 2008)» View all books by Sharman Apt Russell
What is, right now, is divine; there is no God apart from the universe itself. This memoir explores the history of this tradition from the Stoic philosophers to the Transcendentalists while reflecting on author's own life during a year spent in the mountains and desert of New Mexico.
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Author Biography - 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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