Carolyn King cking at
Thu Apr 14 14:10:24 EDT 2011

Isn't it nice of Paul to forward you early posts on your new book? Typical 
helpful behaviour.
I assume that none of these open-minded people has actually read your 
I look forward to comments on this (obviously superior listserv), from 
people who will give reasoned observations citing facts.

Carolyn King

Paul Cherubini <monarch at> 
Sent by: owner-leps-l at
04/14/11 12:27 PM
Please respond to
monarch at



Jessica, here are three initial reactions to your new book 
WINGED OBSESSION that have been posted by lepidopterists 
on other butterfly lists:

1) Exploitive hogwash. Read it if you're looking to take 
misconception, misrepresentation, and misunderstanding 
to another level.
2) I had a similar reaction when I read that yesterday.  My 
response wasn't very diplomatic; so I deleted it.
3) I refrained from much comment regarding the 'The Dangerous
World of Butterflies' by Peter Laufer because that book 
seemed silly in many ways.  Anybody who actually studies
or has studied butterflies could see right through it.

However, 'Winged Obsession' is a real-life catastrophe! 
I have not yet read it and ought to reserve comment until 
I do so, however the 'releases' make that impossible for 
me.  I mean no disrespect to Jessica Speart.  I am sure 
that she means well.  I think.

Any 'blurb' that has phrases like 'seedy underbelly of illegal 
butterfly trading' and 'the downfall of the "Indiana Jones" of
the butterfly world' inclines one to imagine A. Schwarzenegger
battling fierce Fish & Wildlife agents in a winner takes all 
battle for dried butterflies.  Sorry, I couldn't help myself. 
It is ludicrous, no?

Should I expect to see wondrous examples of 'flawless research' 
and 'captivating narrative'?  I think not.  I expect to be 
disappointed.  I will be disappointed over the uneven and
bigoted portrayal of my brethren and sistren of Lepidoptera. 
I also can not expect revealed truth behind an unbelievable 
story.  The story is unbelievable by its nature.

Was anybody on this list consulted as reference?  I expect not.

Are there unscrupulous commercial collectors?  Yes, I have 
met [and defeated!] them in the field.  Is there a market for 
protected, endangered, and rare butterflies.  Yes, there is. 
Does any of this represent an iconic truth about those of us 
that find fascination with butterflies?  Of course not.  That is
absurd!  So, what is the motivation behind such a work? 
One can only guess, but it is not anything remotely resembling 
a search for the truth.  If not the truth, then what?

It would seem that on the book's premise we might as well 
flush all Germans because of Hitler, Russians because of Stalin, 
and Republicans because of Sarah Palin.  Such nonsense!


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