Monographs are rare on a single butterfly species. The monograph ' Notes and views of the Purple Emperor ( Apatura iris ) published in 1964 has become the definitive work on this superb butterfly. This book was written by the great butterfly hunter I.R.P Heslop who was the lead author . G.E Hyde and R.E. Stockley also contributed to this fine work. The plates of specimens were painted by A.D.A Russwurm. This book has 244 pages which include the colour and black white plates of the early stages, adults and rare aberrations etc.
An article on the butterfly adventures of Heslop soon.
Photographic plates produced in the 1960s fall short of the high quality digital reproductions of today. It is a pity that some of the plates in the Heslop book are in black and white but photographic plates were very expensive then, colour in such a monograph was a real bonus. The early stages were photographed by G.E. Hyde and show good detail. The specimen aberrations were painted by A.D.A Russwurm, who in my opinion is up there with the great butterfly artists, such as Frohawk.
Where this book is incomparable, is in the detailed text and this covers the Purple Emperor fully. This is no scientific dry tome but the authors enthusiasm for their subject brightens the pages. This book is a labour of love, as all good books should be.