Wendy Williams, author of “The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World’s Favorite Insect”

by | Jun 24, 2020

Wendy Williams —longtime journalist and author, most recently of  “The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, And Other Obsessives Unlocked The Secrets of The World’s Favorite Insect”—recounts why, with all the things she’s covered as a journalist and all the topics she’s written books about, she focused on butterflies for this book. Williams also outlines what her attitude about butterflies had been before embarking on this project. In a part of the conversation addressing the significant history of butterflies, describes the life and studies of Maria Sibylla Merian, a naturalist and illustrator active during the 1600s in what’s now Germany—a notable figure in butterfly lore, whose work is still viewed and studied centuries later. She also touches on how Charles Darwin figures into the extended butterfly saga. (Mentioned, but not discussed—only because there wasn’t time time to cover everything—was that Vladimir Nabokov, in addition be being an acclaimed novelist, turned out to be a respected butterfly expert. Williams fields a number of questions and comments from listeners, ranging from milkweed to migration. (Photo of Williams: Rich Maclone; of Monarches: Wikicommons) [This was the first show in three-plus months that I was able to produce live at the WMNF studios. Coincidentally, it also marked the 17th anniversary of “Talking Animals.”] (https://wendywilliamsauthor.com, https://www.facebook.com/wendy.williams.731135)

COMEDY CORNER:  Brian Regan’s “Flipper and Gentle Ben”  (https://brianregan.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.


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