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A great book. Some history, some romance, some science, two strong, committed women & well written. Don't worry about keeping the names of the fossils straight, just enjoy the story.
When Mary Anning uncovers an unknown fossil in the cliffs the English coast, she finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot- in the struggle to be recognized in the scientific world, they discover that friendship is their greatest ally
This is a very interesting historical fiction about an unusual topic, prehistorical fossil discovery by two English women in the 1800's. It is interesting in the fact that people just then were beginning to wonder about the beginning of the planet along theories that were not biblical- and how upset people were about that thought. You also have the usual discounting of women's thoughts and ideas and keeping them chained to home and hearth and not being able to inherit property or study in universities or attend social event, walk on the sidewalks or listen to a lecture by themselves or risk ruining their reputation. It is also about friendship and sisters relationships and family duties. I loved it although it took a little while to get into and the various collectors names were a bit hard to keep track of and the dialect took a little getting used to. The epilogue title "The reader's patience" made up for the slight difficulties.
Borrowed Aug 2019 but returned it unread. just couldn't get into it so save for a later time.
Loved this fictionalized account of an early 19th century friendship which did influence/change our history of geology! I liked how the debate about the validity of fossils and fossilized creatures was not only framed by period social issues (Jane Austen style) but also in terms of how people handled their religious faith in the face of evidence which challenged Bishop Usher's dating of the age of planet earth, which some folks still, oddly, believe. My disclaimer: I believe science can make spiritual belief stronger. I love geology, science, and Jane Austen and this book rocks!
I love a book that teaches me about a world unknown to me. I found myself Googling the creatures found by Mary and Elizabeth, as well as wanting to know more about their lives. I soon found out that "Remarkable Creatures" was about more than just fossils, as Mary and Elizabeth were magnificently unique and remarkable creatures, as rare as the fossils they unearthed.
The book Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier is a great book about the first discoveries of these creatures in the cliffs of a small town. The remarkable creature Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot discover is in fact one of the first dinosaur fossil to be found and it is interesting to see the reactions of people who have never heard of dinosaurs and the explanations they come up with. I like how the science and fossils is blended with the lives and struggles of the characters to create a book as remarkable as the creatures it is about. I thought that the different men sometimes got confusing and I'd have to go back a paragraph and check what the name was. (Four stars)
- @Redibis of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
I've been meaning to read this book for years and I am so glad I finally did. It's a perfect combination of British historical fiction and a little scientific learning with a feminist twist. It makes me happy when strong, independent women of the past finally get some of the credit that is due.
Another charming work by Tracy Chevalier: a fictionalized account of two very real women in the early 1800s, engaged in the decidedly unladylike pursuit of fossil hunting off the southwestern coast of England. Elizabeth Philpot, relegated to living in Lyme Regis with her three likewise unmarried sisters, takes up fossil hunting as a hobby and soon befriends young Mary Anning, a clever teenager engaged in subsistence collecting and sale as a means of supplementing her family's meager income.
I can only imagine what it must have been like to experience the excitement of fossil study in the days when scientists were only just beginning to piece together their significance, their inconceivable age, and how they related to living creatures of the modern world. An appealing read, especially for armchair scientists. Wish I had been there!
Not a page turner, but I'm glad I kept with the book and finished it. Tracy Chevalier is a very good writer. I learned something about 2 remarkable women way ahead of their time.
A wonderful fictional story of Mary Anning!
Mary Anning changed the way we view the world with her discovery of a fossil of huge import on the southern coast of England and her subsequent work as a paleontologist
From the author of "Girl with Pearl Earring" comes a fictional account of Mary Annings's coastal fossil discoveries that set the scientific community in England alight, raised questions among the religious, and fueled gossip of a woman working in a man's field. Chevalier's familar style does justice to this tale of female friendship in a male profession. Great book to read on a winter coastal trip.
Set in the Regency period, this novel examines the relationship between an upper class young woman who has moved to Lyme Regis with her two sisters, and a young local girl named Mary who supports her family by selling the fossils she has become adept at finding on the coastline. Chevalier likes to test the boundaries of what is acceptable for females in the societies she depicts, and this novel extends to questions of class, gender, science and religion. An excellent choice for Austen or Chevalier fans.
While this is a delightful read for someone interested in Mary Anning or paleontology, not all of it is true to fact. The treatment of Colonel Birch's character is disrespectful considering he was one of Anning's greatest allies.
A wonderful, historical novel based on the lives of two women far ahead of their time. Their struggles to be taken seriously by 19th century men of science did not hinder their efforts. Mary Annings and Elizabeth Philpot's contributions to the field of natural history were some of the most important geological finds of all times and Tracy Chevalier has presented their story in this remarkable novel.
It's been awhile since I've read any Tracy Chevalier titles--so glad I chose this one! Chevalier writes such wonderful historical fiction. The friendship between Mary and Elizabeth is wonderful and meaningful. Truly a magnificent fictional account of real life fossil hunter and discoverer Mary Anning who contributed so much to natural history and excavation of dinosaur bones. Although not well-known at the time, her contributions have become truly legendary. I love that Chevalier based this book on an actual person. She did the same thing so successfully with The Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Absolutely loved this book! Wonderful historical fiction that taught me a ton and was an enjoyable read. The author has a wonderful way with words, mixing the fiction and facts into a delightful story. I'm looking forward to reading more by Tracy Chevalier!
excellent book. think i'll be reading chevalier's other novels in the future.
I of my most favourite books because of the topics - women friends, fossils and history. Wonderful - well done!
I've really enjoyed this book. It paints a very vivid picture of life in past times, and draws you in so you feel yourself walking there to. I encourage anyone to read it, as I'm sure you also, will enjoy it.
Two women find fossils in Lyme Regis, England and turn the world view of history & religion upside-down.