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A lady lepidopterist may seem an unlikely real-life subject for historical romance, but Mountain (Bloodline) makes it work in this first-person account of the life of Eleanor Glanville, the late 17th-century naturalist accused of madness because of her devotion to studying butterflies. Daughter of a landowner, Eleanor grows up not just admiring the natural beauty of the marshy moors around her but also observing and collecting specimens according to the latest scientific methods. Butterflies become her passion even as she marries Edmund Ashfield, to whom she must cede control of her land, and it is Edmond's lack of passion that drives her into the arms of his dashing friend, Richard Glanville, whom she later marries, though neither husband proves as steadfast as the London apothecary with whom she corresponds about science. In later years, Richard and Eleanor's eldest son join forces to have her declared insane in order to gain control over her property so they can drain the wetlands. In fact, drainage—battles over it, the implications of it—is a huge piece of the novel and provides the most original passages of a lush and confidently plotted historical.(July)
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ISBN-10:  0399156364
ISBN-13:  978-0399156366
Author:  Fiona Mountain
Publisher:  Putnam Adult
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review by . July 27, 2010
The pioneering 17th century entomologist and butterfly specialist Eleanor Glanville (of the Glanville Fritillary) becomes a passionate heroine in British author Mountain's third historical novel.    The story begins during the early turbulent years of the Restoration, shortly after the reinstatement of Charles II, whose father had been executed by Cromwell's Roundheads in 1649. Born Eleanor Goodricke, daughter of a defiantly strict Puritan nobleman (Roundhead), Eleanor spends …
Lady of the Butterflies
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