22.5.10

What I Read Last Week

Last week I read the most remarkable book... Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier, a historical fiction about a woman named Mary Anning & her friendship with Elizabeth Philpot.

Born to a very poor family, Mary Anning supplemented her family income by finding & selling small fossils found along the cliffs of Lyme Regis (a small town on the coast of England.) She and her brother found the skeleton of an icthyosaurus and later the skeleton of a plesiosaurus. Discovery of the skeletons of creatures which had never been seen before brought up questions of evolution, extinction and God's intentions regarding all of creation. Very controversial topics in the early 1800's and still (shockingly) relevant even now. Also, prominent in the book is the discussion of women's roles in the early 19th century and the fact that these women had to fight for any bit of recognition for their discoveries and contributions to the field of paleontology. The book is a sort of cross between a Jane Austen novel & "adventures-in-paleontology-with-Mary" (and, in fact, it's possible Austen and Mary Anning may have met in real life when Austen visited Lyme Regis in the early 1800's.)

A very good read if you're looking for one...

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a fun book! I haven't read stricktly for pleasure in a month or two... I must fix that!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments -- I am always happy to hear from you! All comments will appear after moderation and so may not be immediately visible.