Born into a world seething with treachery and suspicion, Eleanor Goodricke grows up on the Somerset Levels just after the English Civil Wars, heiress to her late mother's estates and daughter of a Puritan soldier who fears for his brilliant daughter with her dangerous passion for natural history - and for butterflies in particular.
Her reckless courage will take her to places where no woman of her day ever dared to go. Her fearless ambition will give her a place in history for all time. But it is her passionate heart which will lead her into a consuming love - and mortal peril.
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It is a rare talent in an author to be able to mix rigorous historical research with the narrative energies and imagination of a true novelist. Fiona Mountain brings all of these skills to her entrancing Lady of the Butterflies. A vivid and fascinating novel about an extraordinary woman, I was gripped from beginning to end. -
Fiona Mountain is a major new talent in the field of historical fiction. This is history told with integrity, with an authentic feel for the period and vividly rounded characters. All the colours and textures of the seventeenth century are eloquently realised here, in wonderful detail, and against this backdrop is set a haunting and tragic narrative. I have come away from this book having learned much about Lady Eleanor Glanville, and butterflies, in the most entertaining way possible. I eagerly await Fiona Mountain`s next book -
A fascinating story ... richly and brilliantly detailed and full of love -
My heart ached as I read this book because I knew at some point I would have to finish it. From the very first sentence I was caught by this wonderful and enchanting story, with a heroine you fall totally in love with and a world that I wish I could live in myself. It is as bewitching and wondrous as butterflies themselves and will be treasured as a read I will never forget. -
Lady of the Butterflies is an enjoyable, dramatic and intriguing tale that I found almost impossible to put down. It has a wonderful sense of period and well-observed, compelling characters who I really cared about. Love and passion, in their many forms, are at its heart and as an actress I was particularly drawn to Eleanor Glanville, a strong and emotional woman whose many joys and hardships I fully shared -
Rich and brilliant ... Fiona Mountain is an extraordinary talent, an impressive writer and an exceptional storyteller - The Lady
Fiona Mountain has written a powerful and sexually charged novel set in the shadow of the English Civil War. Lady of the Butterflies is a fascinating historical novel capturing the life of Eleanor Glanville, a woman of terrific scientific discipline and worldly passion. Eleanor's life is one of personal upheaval and her story is set in the Somerset Marshlands that face social and agricultural revolution. Mountain's novel describes Eleanor's discovery of the Glanville Fritillary, a rare butterfly that reflects Eleanor's immense strength, beauty and frailty. It's a brilliant historical novel filled with fascinating detail and stunning imagery - The Bookseller
Well written, beautifully descriptive and completely engrossing, it's a must for all who enjoy historical fiction - Choice Magazine
The author of this wonderful book has done impeccable research and through her skilful writing we feel all of Eleanor's passions and dilemmas ... Whenever I see a butterfly, I shall think of this book - Yorkshire Gazette and Herald
This story of science and witchcraft is just the sort of thing reading groups love. - Bookseller
An unashamedly romantic and sweeping historical romp - Daily Mail
Mixing historical research with the imagination of a true novelist, Mountain brings this fascinating story to life - Best
Fiona Mountain was a press officer at BBC Radio 1 for ten years. She is the author of three previous novels, but only returned to writing after the birth of her four children. She lives in the Cotswolds with them and her husband, a musician. She is already working on her next novel, based on the life of Charles I's queen, Henrietta Maria.