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  • Much Ado About Mothing

  • A Year Intoxicated by Britain’s Rare and Remarkable Moths
  • By: James Lowen
  • Narrated by: Max Dowler
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Science & Engineering, Science
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Much Ado About Mothing by James Lowen, read by Max Dowler.

Although mostly unseen by us, moths are everywhere. And their capacity to delight astounds.

Inspired by a revelatory encounter with a Poplar Hawk-moth - a huge, velvety-winged wonder wrapped in silver - James Lowen embarks on a year-long quest to celebrate the joy of Britain’s rarest and most remarkable moths. 

By hiking up mountains, wading through marshes and roaming by night amid ancient woodlands, James follows the trails of both Victorian collectors and present-day conservationists. Seeking to understand why they and many ordinary folk love what the general public purports to hate, his investigations reveal a heady world of criminality and controversy, derring-do and determination.

From Cornwall to the Cairngorms, James explores British landscapes to coax these much-maligned creatures out from the cover of darkness and into the light. Moths are revealed to be attractive, astonishing and approachable; capable of migratory feats and camouflage mastery, moths have much to tell us on the state of the nation’s wild and not-so-wild habitats.

As a counterweight to his travels, James and his young daughter track the seasons through a kaleidoscope of moth species living innocently yet covertly in their suburban garden. Without even leaving home, they bond over a shared joy in the uncommon beauty of common creatures, for perhaps the greatest virtue of moths, we learn, is their accessibility. Moths may be everywhere, but above all, they are here. Quite unexpectedly, no animals may be better placed to inspire the environmentalists of the future.

©2021 James Lowen (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"If moths mean nothing to you, opening this book is like stumbling from a dark street into an unexpected party. Here is colour, wonder, surprise - and fun. A jolly, generous, kind-hearted host, James Lowen unveils a splendid serving of moth intoxication!" (Patrick Barkham)

"Charming and awe-inspiring. Whether you love or loathe moths, this book is for you." (Kate Bradbury)

"With prose as rich and velvety as a Black Rustic’s wings, in Much Ado About Mothing James Lowen shines a welcome light into the hidden world of Britain’s moths, those consumed by their beauty and conservation, and the places upon which they depend. Their stories are remarkable and, in this delicious book, Lowen serves them with the relish they deserve." (Jon Dunn)

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Profile Image for Andreia *The Butterfly Lover*
  • Andreia *The Butterfly Lover*
  • 17-08-22

A memoir

DNF. Not Rating. After more than 6 years studying Butterflies and Moths - and breeding them in my Garden - all I can say is that this book is a Memoir. Do not get me wrong! I LOVE the huge, colourful Moths, like Luna Moths, Imperial Moths, Automeris Moths but beware: You will not learn what you need to know about Moths. It is the author's daily life and daily observation of Moths. Also, his friends lives spread throughout the book. It is so boring that I gave up reading after some hours. Unless you are interested in people's lives, you will not enjoy the book. Also, if you do not know some terms, like what is a Hawk Moth for example, he will not explain this to you. He will simply say something along the lines of "I saw a Poplar Hawk Moth" or an "Elephant Hawk Moth" in my garden. And that is it! Even though I know all genres and species by name, it did not add anything to my life, enjoyment or knowledge that "He saw a Hawk Moth". As I said before, only read it if you are interested in "his" life, not in learning about Moths.