Matthew Oates is a naturalist, writer and poet who has been obsessed by Britain's butterflies since he was at school. Intimately acquainted with all Britain's native species, he has conducted most of his research on the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Mountain Ringlet and Duke of Burgundy; his experiences are summarised in his previous book, In Pursuit of Butterflies. But no butterfly has entranced him as much as the elusive Purple Emperor - a butterfly we now understand much better thanks to his detailed and tireless observations. Matthew retired from his post as National Specialist on Nature with the National Trust in 2018, and dedicated his retirement to ensuring the future of his favourite butterfly. He writes regularly for The Times Nature Notebook column and in magazines, and lives on the Gloucestershire-Wiltshire border.
One of the greatest naturalists of our time, Matthew is also one of science's most articulate and generous communicators, the kind of champion nature needs now more than ever. -- Isabella Tree, author of Wilding Dogbarking wood, cherry-pickers, shrimp paste, caterpillars called Sir Cloudesley Shovell - this monumental, transcendent, hilarious book is a natural history like no other. This profound work of genius brings us alive to the pulsating wonder of an English woodland in June - to life, the universe and everything. -- Patrick Barkham, author of The Butterfly Isles Matthew Oates's beautification of one of our most - he would say the most - spectacular insects is a total delight. In prose which soars as high as its subject, he blends mythology, history, biology and exceptional field skills to create the ultimate butterfly biography. -- Brett Westwood, presenter and author With its beautiful jacket cover and subject matter, His Imperial Majesty conjures intrigue from the off. Delving page by page into the natural history of one of Britain's most spectacular and mysterious insects, Matthew Oates reflects on almost 50 years of personal observations, study, musings, and what is, quite frankly, obsession, setting you on course for a riveting and riotous rollercoaster ride through the life and times of this remarkable butterfly. -- Simon Breeze * British Wildlife *