The aim of this series is to interest the general reader in the wildlife of Britain by recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalists, encouraging unusual and original developments of forgotten or neglected facets of British natural history. Collins are delighted to announce the republication in facsimile form of the first editions of the very first volumes in the New Naturalist Library. Originally planned in the darkest days of World War II and first published in 1945, this series is the longest running nature series in the world. It is a reflection of the quality of the authors and the books they wrote, that they are still sought after 73 years later. The books will be identical in every way to the original first editions, including the iconic jackets by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. Dr Ford, the author of this fascinating volume on butterflies, was an enthusiastic butterfly collector in his youth. He was not only a professional biologist of great distinction but also brought his wide knowledge of genetics and evolution to bear on the problems arising out of his collecting.Thus he was able to see butterflies both as an absorbing hobby and as part of the great panorama of biology.
The resultant book is an outstanding contribution to Natural History in the best sense of the term. Natural History is not something inferior to science -- it is part of science, inviting an approach by way of field study. While, therefore, Dr Ford's book contains a somewhat higher proportion of scientific history and technical ideas than most books on Natural History, this for the great majority of amateurs will be a stimulus rather than an obstacle, and throughout the author has kept in mind the needs of butterfly collectors and of all those who love the country in the hope that it may increase their pleasure by widening the scope of their interests.
Genetecist and entomologist, author of Butterflies (1945) and Moths (1955). Born in Cumberland but career based at Oxford, by turns lecturer, reader 1938-63, director of genetics laboratory and Professor of Genetics (1963-69). Fellow of All Souls, FRS (1946). Founder of environmental genetics through studies in natural variation of butterflies and moths. His magnum opus, Ecological Genetics (1964), was the fruit of 30 years' reasearch.