Vicar of the Amazon

  • Authors: Philip E. Howse
  • ISBN:  978-1-7398856-3-2
  • Pages: 248
  • Images: 145
  • Page size:  178 x 254 mm (landscape)
  • Cover format:  Hardcover




Miles Moss went to Peru in 1907 and from 1912 to 1945 was the Anglican Chaplain of the largest parish in the world, one that encompassed the whole of the Amazon basin from Iquitos in Peru to the Atlantic; an area roughly 3,000 miles long and 800 miles wide, amounting to about one quarter of the South American continent. His great passion was Lepidoptera: his major contributions to science were in the form of three classic works on hawk-moths and swallowtail butterflies, all published in the journal of his patron Lord Walter Rothschild who established Tring Museum containing the largest collection of butterflies and moths in the world.

Following in the wake of great Victorian naturalists such as Wallace and Bates, Moss’ story has been neglected: apart from his publications in scientific journals he left a collection of 25,000 insects, unpublished manuscripts on Amazonian natural history, and some incredibly beautiful water-colours of bizarre-looking caterpillars now archived in the Natural History Museum in South Kensington.