From the moment she’s struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear Mary Anning is marked for greatness. When she uncovers unknown dinosaur fossils in the cliffs near her home, she sets the scientific world alight, challenging ideas about the world’s creation and stimulating debate over our origins. In an arena dominated by men, however, Mary is soon reduced to a serving role, facing prejudice from the academic community, vicious gossip from neighbours, and the heartbreak of forbidden love.
Luckily Mary finds an unlikely champion in prickly, intelligent Elizabeth Philpot, a middle-class spinster who is also fossil-obsessed. Despite their differences in age and background, Mary and Elizabeth discover that, in struggling for recognition, friendship is their strongest weapon.
©2009 Tracy Chevalier (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Very much enjoyed the book, am so impressed by Mary's story. Was recommended this audiobook from a podcast sponsored by Audible, and it certainly didn't disappoint. Loved the switch in accent and tone of voice when the story was passed between the two narrators. An incredible story narrated beautifully, and a pleasure to listen to.
"favourite audible book so far, highly recommended"
I loved this story of an unlikely friendship between two Lyme ladies and their shared passion for fossils. I'm not usually a fan of "historical" novels, but I'm so glad I tried this. I found myself looking forward to a long car trip so I could spend more time in the company of Miss Elizabeth, Mary, and the Icky, I felt I knew them. I especially liked Elizabeth's way of categorising people according to which feature they lead with. The narration was spot on, capturing Elizabeth particularly well. I wish there were more books narrated by Hattie Morahan.
There's so much in this book, at lots of levels. Discussions about how finding the fossils challenged the prevailing world view. Women's place in England at the time. And I probably would have missed the evocative place descriptions since I never read those in an actual physical book. The author does all this through the actions and conversations and thoughts of the characters.
I was disappointed when it came to an end and I am now planning a trip to Lyme Regis to see the snake graveyard for myself.
Loved it, and will be trying more of her books.
"An immensely enjoyable listen"
I've just finished 'Remarkable Creatures' and was truly sorry it was over. I found the subject of fossil hunting fascinating and the characters very engaging. The excellent narration from Hattie Morahan brought the characters to life, and I wanted to continue with them further to find out how they fared. The book has so fascinated me that I rather fancy a trip to Lyme Regis fossil-hunting! I thoroughly recommend this book - it is one of my favourites from Audible so far.
This book and narrator are outstanding. On the surface this is a gentle historical novel about impoverished ladies in Lyme Regis. With a little excavation it turns out to be a book about passion, repression and the overturning of religion.
At the time this book is set the discovery of fossils shook people up as much as men landing on the moon. Mary Anning, the working class girl who discovers them, shakes up ideas about the place of women and class.
Juanita McMahon the narrator captures the heart and soul of the main characters in a deceptively effortless performance.
I have already listened to it twice. Just wonderful.
"An excellent recommendation"
I was recommended this book, and I was very glad that I listened. The story was engrossing from the start and the beautiful narration only added to the atmosphere.
It is a believable story, with an interesting history, I was eager to find what happened, but didn't want it to end!
"OK if you are interested in fossils"
There is no real plot, I kept hoping something would happen to catch my interest, but sadly it didn't.
if this had been my introduction to the author no. Fortunately I had read "the last Runaway" which I really enjoyed, it had a really good story line and interesting characters.
Mollie, Mary's mother. I could see her standing up to her "betters" back straight and looking them right in the eye as she fought to get a fair price for the fossils.
None really they all played there part,
I was left with the impression that the author couldn't decide whether this was a romance or a book on the plight of women in the 19th century. I am probably doing her a great dis-service, but alas that is how the book came over to me.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story which built a beautiful picture in my head of Mary Anning, Lyme Regis and the Philpot sisters. It made me appreciate the struggle of single women of that era and has left me wanting to listen to another Tracey Chevalier story!
"I loved this book"
I loved this book, although I found the whole experience of women it that society at that time very sad. The hugely interesting juxtaposition of era specific female restrictions and the very new discoveries of fossils that challenged the preconceptions of the history of the world combined with sympathetic characters make this a lovely read.
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