Our friend John Woolmer wrote his customary letter to The Times concerning the state of the Purple Emperor season. This was published on Sat 20th July. It's an excellent letter (sorry, but I cannot find an on-line link), stimulated by a memorable visit to Fermyn Woods, where 'during a five hour walk covering about 10km of forest tracks I counted an amazing 101 emperors.' He mentions the re-occurrence of var. lugenda, and concludes: '"Vive l'empereur", as one Victorian butterfly collector somewhat incongruously toasted the deceased butterflies he had netted' before signing himself PREBENDARY JOHN WOOLMER, Cropston, Leics.
At least one reader then had to look up what a Prebendary is... (an honorary canon, I think).
It is of course vital that The Times receives an annual letter on the state of Britain's national butterfly...
John Woolmer at work in Lady Wood, alongside Japanese film maker Tomoko Take who is completing a film on the cultural significance of His Imperial Majesty (watch this space. I'll announce it when it's ready).