Lady of the Butterflies

I read The Lady of the Butterflies, when it was first published. Set in the ancient marshlands of Somerset, in the shadow of the English Civil War, 'Lady of the Butterflies' tells the story of Eleanor Glanville, the first English female lepidopterist. The Glanville Fritillery butterfly was named after her

The daughter of a strict puritan, her longing for colour and brightness lead her to an obsession with butterflies. During this period butterfly hunting was seen as a purely masculine pursuit, something no woman in her right mind would ever consider, as it could lead to accusations of  witchcraft and madness. 

She kept accurate records of laval food plants and reared a number of species which are identifiable on account of her accurate records. Some of her collection is available at the Natural History Museum.

This is a link to a radio 4 segment on where author Fiona Mountain to discuss the life of lepidopterist Lady Eleanor Glanville.

Somewhat bizarely there are London records of this species due to an introduction at a Surrey site. Up to 100 butterflies have been recorded on transects so it could find its way to Tolworth. The larval food plant is ribwort plantain and the butterfly prefers south-facing sheltered sites. 
Some 400 years later....
My cousin sent me the cutting below from the KL Magazine (assume Kings Lynn) Jan 2022 of a much luckier lady lepidopterist. Norfolk born (1862) Margaret Fountaine, one of two daughters of a South Acre clergyman. 
She travelled Europe and the world, particularly Italy, Germany and Hungary constantly seeking knowledge. In 1898 she was elected as a fellow to the Royal Entomological Society, later (1901) she turned her interest to the Middle East and Asia, travelling first to Syria.By this point she started to collect caterpillars to breed butterfly specimens releasing many into the wild.


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