Burnham Market Book Festival is back, better than ever

12 September 2011 by

This year’s festival of books and ideas, organised by my fellow blogger Rosalind English, takes place once again from 14 – 16 October in the elegant market town of Burnham Market in North Norfolk, with a great line up of speakers, and subjects ranging from the Tudor Queens to the life of Leo Tolstoy.

Sparks may fly when former brigadier Allan Mallinson challenges historian David Edgerton about his revisionist view of Britain in WWII Britain’s War Machine, and butterflies flutter with Patrick Barkham’s heroic efforts to spot all British species of Papilio in one year. On Saturday evening TV architectural historian takes attendees behind the scenes of the English Country house.

Tickets are a snip at £10 event from the Whitehouse Bookshop, 01328 730270. You can download the programme here or visiting the website here.

1 comment;

  1. Although it seems inconceivable that anyone will be visiting the UKHRB for information about butterflies, my bizarre background as a zoologist who happens also to be a co-editor of this blog has driven me to add the following comment on the ‘Papilio’ reference in Adam’s post above (with apologies in advance for appalling pedantry and inability to italicise words below which correct nomenclatural practice dictates should be in italics or underlined).

    Papilio is a genus of butterfly [as the name of a genus, Papilio should always be italicised or underlined, and should always have a capital letter – unfortunately such formatting does not seem possible here], falling within the family Papilionidae [as a family name, as with all taxons above the level of genus, this is never italicised, but always given a capital letter] which are the Swallowtails and Birdwings. There is only one species of papilionid [acceptable name for members of the family Papilionidae, but no capital letter required as it’s not the formal family name] found in the UK: Papilio machaon [specific name italicised, but never capitalised], which is now rare and restricted to the fens in the Norfolk broads. It is a spectacular insect and is the UK’s largest resident butterfly. In this country it’s known simply as the Swallowtail, as we don’t have any other Swallowtails here to distinguish it from. The Swallowtail that we get in Norfolk is a distinct subspecies, britannicus [subspecific name, so requires italics], which seems to be particularly fussy about what its caterpillars will eat (unlike its continental cousins of the same species) and this helps to explain why its range in the UK is so restricted. Anyway, Patrick Barkham’s wonderful book would have been very much shorter if he had only had to find Papilio.

    Incidentally, there is no convenient scientific name for butterflies. Butterflies and moths together are insects constituting the order Lepidoptera. All UK butterflies are classified within either the superfamily Papilionoidea (true butterflies) or skippers (Hesperioidea) and all the many other families within the Lepidoptera are referred to as moths.

    Profuse apologies for unburdening myself of this on the UKHRB!

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