Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier

Our branches look like jungles these days, but staff would be happy to recommend titles to help you through the jungle of adult books.

Kim in our Winkler Branch recommends Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier. This book, based on real events and real people, is set in the early 1800s in the English seaside town of Lyme Regis. Poor and uneducated Mary Anning, finds a friend and ally in the educated Lady Elizabeth Philpot. Both women have an interest in searching the coast for fossils in the time before there was any understanding of dinosaur existence.

Mary’s discovery of a “fish lizard”, later called the ichthyosaurus, and its subsequent assembly drew scientists and collectors to the area. Although both women contributed a great deal to the finding and understanding of fossils, neither received much pay or recognition for their work.

The fossil discoveries made by these women, which are still in museum collections today, predated Darwin and called into question notions of how the world was formed and how old it was.

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