Much more than just another field guide or a natural history of butterflies Rainbow Dust explores the ways in which butterflies delight and inspire us all, naturalists and non-naturalists alike.
Beginning with the author's own experience of hunting and rearing butterflies as a boy, Peter Marren considers the special place of the butterfly in art, literature, advertising and science, and, latterly, our attempts to conserve them.
Rainbow Dust takes in the controversy over collecting, the women who studied them and the curious details that lead to butterflies being feared as well as loved. This is a celebration of butterflies; one shot through with a sense of wonder but also of sorrow at what we are losing.
Peter Marren is a wildlife writer, journalist and authority on invertebrate folklore and names. His books include The New Naturalists, which won the Society for the History of Natural History's Thackray Medal, Britain's Rare Flowers, which won the Botanical Society of the British Isles' Presidents' Award. He won a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for work on Bugs Britannica.
i: Introduction: The Painted Lady 1.: Meeting the Butterfly 2.: Chasing the Clouded Yellow 3.: Graylings: The Birthday of a Passion 4.: Gatekeepers: Collecting with Jean Froissart, John Fowles and Vladimir Nabokov 5.: Lady Glanville's Fritillary 6.: At the Sign of the Chequered Skipper 7.: The Golden Hog or The Wonderful Names of Butterflies 8.: Seeing Red: The Admiral 9.: Fire and Brimstone: Butterflies and the Imagination 10.: Silver Washes and Pearl Borders: Painting Butterflies 11.: Endgame: The Large Blue and Other Dropouts 12.: The Wall or How to Save a Butterfly 13.: Envoi: Aurora or the Daughter of Dawn ii: Appendix: British Butterflies iii: Notes iv: Bibliography v: Acknowledgements vi: Index