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In Pursuit of Butterflies


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The butterflies of Britain, in the words of one of their greatest champions

About the Author

Matthew Oates is a naturalist, writer and poet who has been obsessed by Britain's butterflies since he was at school. Intimately acquainted with all of Britain's native species, he has made particular studies of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Mountain Ringlet and Duke of Burgundy. But no butterfly has entranced him so much as the elusive, beautiful Purple Emperor - a butterfly we now understand much better thanks to his detailed and tireless observation. Since 1992 Matthew has worked for the National Trust, where he is currently National Specialist for Nature. Matthew has written widely for newspapers and magazines, and is a regular writer for the Nature Notes column in The Times. He lives in Gloucestershire.


Oates ... writes entrancingly, with the sunniest good humour. His book, with its old-school, loving erudition, is nature-writing of the sort that never goes out of fashion. * The Sunday Times *
This book is an infectious, instantly joyful love song to butterflies ... Written in prose as delicate and enticing as the creatures themselves, this read will release your inner flutter -- Miriam Darlington * BBC Wildlife *
A joy to read, bubbling with knowledge, enthusiasm and insight. * Robert Macfarlane *
... a memoir which is knowledgeable, cultured and a welcome throwback to a gently comic kind of English nature writing. * The Independent *
Oates is unquestionably authentic and his voice is vivid, witty and unapologetic ... his writing is suffused with a love for the spirit of the English countryside. * The Guardian *
Lyrical, eccentric, charming and historical, In Pursuit of Butterflies is altogether unique. * Butterfly magazine *
One of the best summaries of why nature matters and how we should all care. * Spectator *
The writing is perfectly judged, combining a gift for story-telling and for conveying fact with an ever-present sensitivity and self-awareness. There is the author's own poetry too, deeply felt and beautifully crafted. * Rare Bird Alert *
It reminded me of my childhood delight in butterflies - and indeed rekindled it. -- Helen Hewett * Cotswolds Life *
When the weather turns stormy and the butterfly year is over I can turn to this book and be enchanted once again and dream of days to come next year. * Pembrokeshire Life *
He [Oates] writes with lyrical affection about the wonderful variety of British butterflies and moths... His enthusiasm is never less than inspiring. * Daily Mail *
It is his infectious enthusiasm as much as his deep knowledge that makes the book so worthwhile ... He writes entrancingly, with the sunniest good humour. His book, with its old-school, almost loving erudition, is nature-writing of the sort that never goes out of fashion. * The Sunday Times *

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