Book Review: Remarkable Creatures

A while back I wrote an article about paleontologist Mary Anning and the postage stamps that honor her amazing discovery of marine reptiles in the seaside cliffs of southern England.  After reading the story, Donna Smith informed me of a historical novel she had enjoyed about Mary’s discoveries and her life in early 19th century England.  I am not an avid reader of historical fiction, but I decided to give this book a try, ordering a copy online and putting it on the top of my June reading list.

“Remarkable Creatures” was written by Tracy Chevalier and published in 2009.  It was listed on the New York Times Bestseller list.  I found the narrative very easy to read as the author mixed actual geologic and historic events into the lifestyles and culture of the time.  Women were not expected to hunt fossils, much less study them, and Mary Anning was not of the “proper class” to be taken seriously or given credit for her accomplishments regardless of her gender.

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