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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published six times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Good Reads  Insects & other Invertebrates  Insects  Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)

His Imperial Majesty A Natural History of the Purple Emperor

Nature Writing New SPECIAL OFFER
By: Matthew Oates(Author)
424 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; b/w illustrations
NHBS
All signed copies have now sold! Based on half a century of efforts on the part of Matthew Oates, His Imperial Majesty is an accessible account of the Purple Emperor, one of Britain's most beloved butterflies. Read our interview with the author here.
His Imperial Majesty
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  • His Imperial Majesty ISBN: 9781472950123 Hardback Jun 2020 In stock
    £16.99£19.99
    #249378
Price: £16.99
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About this book

Read our interview with the author here.  All signed copies have now sold.

When summer is at its zenith and the sallow foliage develops a bluish tinge, a giant butterfly – beautiful, bold and brazen – flies powerfully over the tree canopy. Females of this species, wary yet determined, haunt the sallow thickets, depositing their eggs, while the males establish treetop territories and descend to the woodland floor in search of indelicacies to feed upon. Mysterious, elusive and enthralling in equal measure, this is the butterfly that Victorian collectors yearned for above all others: His Imperial Majesty, the Purple Emperor.

A wondrous enigma, the Purple Emperor is our most elusive and least-known butterfly – we glimpse it only through fissures in its treetop world, yet this giant insect has fascinated us for centuries and has even inspired its own 'Emperoring' language. Matthew Oates became captivated by the Purple Emperor following his first sighting as a boy. He has studied it assiduously ever since, devoting his life to trying to unravel the Emperor's secrets.

His Imperial Majesty takes us on a journey, beginning with a dalliance into the bizarre history of our engagement with the butterfly, with daring doings and gross eccentricities from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Subsequent chapters explore all aspects of this remarkable butterfly's life cycle, including behaviour, habitat preferences, life history and conservation, all relayed in Matthew's unique, informative and witty style. Not so long ago, our knowledge of the Emperor was largely based on a blend of mythology and assumption. This book dispels the fabrications and reveals all about the Purple Emperor – the king of British butterflies.

Customer Reviews

Nature Writing New SPECIAL OFFER
By: Matthew Oates(Author)
424 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; b/w illustrations
NHBS
All signed copies have now sold! Based on half a century of efforts on the part of Matthew Oates, His Imperial Majesty is an accessible account of the Purple Emperor, one of Britain's most beloved butterflies. Read our interview with the author here.
Media reviews

"One of the greatest naturalists of our time, Matthew is also one of science's most articulate and generous communicators, the kind of champion nature needs now more than ever."
– Isabella Tree, author of Wilding

"Dogbarking wood, cherry-pickers, shrimp paste, caterpillars called Sir Cloudesley Shovell – this monumental, transcendent, hilarious book is a natural history like no other. This profound work of genius brings us alive to the pulsating wonder of an English woodland in June – to life, the universe and everything."
– Patrick Barkham, author of The Butterfly Isles

"Matthew Oates's beautification of one of our most – he would say the most – spectacular insects is a total delight. In prose which soars as high as its subject, he blends mythology, history, biology and exceptional field skills to create the ultimate butterfly biography."
– Brett Westwood, presenter and author

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