Eleanor is the daughter of a strict puritan and Roundhead major, and lives in a medieval manor on the bleak wetlands of Somerset. Her longing for color and brightness leads to an obsession with butterflies as well as to an illicit passion for charismatic but troubled Richard Glanville. Richard, the son of an exiled Cavalier, embodies all that Eleanor had been taught to despise and distrust, but he also holds for her all the allure of the forbidden.
Her first husband dies, seemingly poisoned, freeing Eleanor and Richard to marry. But can their love survive suspicion and prejudice, a bloody rebellion that makes them bitter enemies, and a superstitious community that stirs up hatred toward her for her love of butterflies?
It seems the only peace she can find is in her long-lasting friendship with renowned naturalist James Petiver, a clever young London apothecary who is considered the father of British entomology. But when Eleanor and Richard's son becomes apprenticed to James, tragedy strikes, and Eleanor is forced to embark on a dangerous search for her son that is entwined with a personal quest for truth, freedom, and love.
©2010 Fiona Mountain (P)2010 Tantor
"A lady lepidopterist may seem an unlikely real-life subject for historical romance, but Mountain 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." (Publishers Weekly
The idea was interesting, a woman stepping outside the boundaries of convention and dealing with the consequences. In my humble opinion, the story did not ring true to the times in regards to the freedoms of the primary character. Also, for me, the narrators voice was far too emotional for various parts of the content.
Credible story line.
As an Anglofile, and lover of Somerset, I found the attention to location detail delightful from the lowland reams to the Mindip Hills. The detail of Puritan beliefs an eye opener.
Will seek out more from this author and narrator.
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