Whether seeking knowledge, riches, or a better life, the characters in these stories are united by a quest for lasting value, as they ask how we should treat our world, our work, our selves, and each other. A vainglorious mine owner dreams of harnessing all of nature to the machinery of commerce. Two ladies of a certain age hunt rare butterflies in a pre-First World War Europe already experiencing the first bites of biodiversity loss. A climate campaigner must choose between personal happiness and political action. A rural Welsh community is fascinated and angered by glimpses of its invisible, wealthy neighbours.