Oh I enjoyed this book so much. When I saw this book by Tracy Chevalier, author of The Girl With The Pearl Earring, I knew I would love it – I loved The Girl With The Pearl Earring.
So I was kind of surprised I had never heard of this book. But I am glad to have found it. It’s just the kind of story I love; history, science and strong-willed women from an era of female suppression.
Set in England in the early 1800’s a time where females had no rights, and without a husband, basically no life. Here Chevalier takes real people from the past and combines them with intriguing fictional characters to create a wonderful voyage of discovery in Remarkable Creatures.
The name of this book refers both to our two herions and the discoveries they make.
Mary Anning a real person from Lyme England is one of the early discoverers of fossils. Despite her lack of education or status, her work will lead to the scientific advances on dinosaurs and extinction. Mary will not however, get credit for most of her work since she is “just a female”.
Chevalier creates fictional Elizabeth Philpot, a spinster with a broad mind and interest in fossils. Newly arrived to Lyme she befriends Mary Anning and they begin an unlikely relationship. Part envy, part loyalty, and part mutual appreciation the two women will use each others strengths to trail blaze the science, navigate the prickly issue of female rights, and help each other through love and loss.
A fascinating book with just enough science as well as a beautiful love story and test of true friendship.
Five Stars for Remarkable Creatures. Read last week’s review of About the Night.