Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures

Book - 2010
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When Mary Anning uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home on the English coast, she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight. Luckily, Mary finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, and in the struggle to be recognized in the wider world, Mary and Elizabeth discover that friendship is their greatest ally.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, 2010.
ISBN: 9780525951452
Characteristics: 312 pages ;,24 cm.

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lilypad_1
Aug 22, 2019

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.

w
weezie1
Aug 07, 2019

Borrowed Aug 2019 but returned it unread. just couldn't get into it so save for a later time.

v
VLSGarnerJ
May 17, 2019

8.

c
CharlotteReads
Dec 08, 2018

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!

d
dlh1
Nov 21, 2018

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.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jul 25, 2018

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

SCL_Heather Jul 11, 2018

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.

r
ryner
Oct 10, 2017

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!

TSCPL_Miranda Aug 28, 2016

Chevalier has a rare gift for bringing history to life in fiction. Remarkable Creatures is the story of two women who made their mark on natural history in a time when women weren't allowed to publish or participate in academics. The story alternates between the perspective of an educated woman of some means and a working class woman with little formal education. Themes explored include gender roles, social class, natural history, and friendship.

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PeggyJ_0
Jul 11, 2016

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.

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rtwete
Feb 27, 2011

Historical novel, based on life of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot. Mary is a skilled fossil hunter and her finds keep her family from the poor house. Elizabeth is of a higher class, but poor too, in 1820's England. They become close friends, during Mary's childhood and after she is grown. Elizabeth helps widowed mother and Mary and brother when she can, with sales of fossils, etc. Assorted men take the credit for many of Mary's discoveries.

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