Angels and Insects; Morpho Eugenia

Thoughts  Angels and Insects TWO NOVELLAS by A.S. Byatt, Vintage 1994, 337 pages

For Challenge:  What’s in a Name 5 – Creepy Crawly Category

“Morpho Eugenia” – novella the first

This SO satisfies the Creepy Crawly category of the What’s in a Name Challenge 5 that I am shocked that I am first to review it for that. In fact, given how smart all of you (you, all of you, my bright smart wonderful readers of this blog), I’m shocked I say, that not more of you have read this. I count only two reviews of this collection and we need it to be more. I just know many of you would LOVE these two stories even if creepy. Byatt is the bomb. I know why Eva has her in high regard.

Um, now is when I admit that I would have liked this collection more if I was smarter. So do forgive my inability to convey how great these are and forgive my 4 slice rating.

What’s this novella about? (I’ll talk about the other one in a later post.)

Consider those Victorian Brits. This one poor guy, William, wants to study bugs. He shipwrecks on return from a bug-study in South America but is rescued YAY!  But he doesn’t have his specimens BOO! so he is destitute. A wealthy dude who has been collecting dead bugs and other crazy artifacts from around the globe, hires him to classify his collection of crap and also be sounding board to bounce off theories of how to reconcile God and Darwin. Our poor bug boy, William, falls in love with daughter of patron. (Of course.) Her name is Eugenia. They marry, they have kids that look like Eugenia. Poor, poor William. William questions why he isn’t happy. He does get to set up ant colonies so the kiddies can learn about bugs but it’s not the same as exploring the tropics. Will I give it away if he falls into ‘friendship’ with Miss Matty, poor relation or something (relationship unclear) to Eugenia?  No, that doesn’t give it away AT ALL.  ha!

“For things are not what they seem, as you must always remember.”

Oh, you just have to read it.

Or?  You can check out the MOVIE!  

They made a flick of this!! I’m delighted and have sent my friend Holly in search of said DVD so we can watch it together. She’s the one who put this book into my hands – after I put The Children’s Book in HER hands (Another Byatt; I have yet to read that one but I own it.)

Do note that the title of the movie covers only the first novella. I call that misleading but whatever. Second novella “Thoughts” coming soon.

Fabulous reviews of Angels and Insects:  Eva at A Striped Armchair and JLS Hall at A Little Reading.


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14 thoughts on “Angels and Insects; Morpho Eugenia

    1. Well, I still find her intimidating. I enjoyed her short story collection and I own Possession AND The Children’s Book. Someday…

  1. I loooooooove this book. I read it for school pre-blogging, but I really ought to revisit it and review it. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. I have yet to read any Byatt but plan to remedy that this year. Perhaps I’ll just have to add this to the tbr pile soon as well.

    1. Oh Lisa! I think this wouldbe a perfect introduction to Byatt. you really get a sense of her range, skill, wit, brilliance…

  3. I’ve wanted to read this since I saw the movie years ago. I really liked it and it stars the hottie Douglas Henshall, though he’s not so nice in the movie. I think the DVD is out of print but I’m sure there are used copies for sale floating around the internet. So please enter me into the drawing!

    And I’ve never seen a Javelina. Isn’t it some kind of wild pig? I think they have them here in Texas but I’ve never seen one.

    1. I almost pulled the trigger on buying the movie but I got distracted. I do hope to see it someday.

      You are now entered in the drawing.

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