Lead Review (Remarkable Creatures)

  • Book: Remarkable Creatures
  • Location: Lyme Regis
  • Author: Tracy Chevalier

Review Author: tripfiction



LYME REGIS (early 19th Century)

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier


This is the re-imagining of the intersecting live of two women, from very different backgrounds:

  • Mary Anning, a young and uneducated woman, who had a gift for spotting fossils; in fact, her discoveries helped to fund her family. She was the first person to discover a complete pterodactyl (now apparently called a pterosaur).
  • Mary was championed by Elizabeth Philpot, an older woman with quite a prickly personality, who was an early 19th-century British fossil collector, amateur palaeontologist and artist.

They were living in pre-Darwinian times, when women had to know their place and subjugate themselves within the rigours of male society. These two women were bound by a thirst for knowledge, pushing the boundaries with their discoveries and extrapolations, taking risks and facing the consequences.

There is a brief love interest which upsets the narrative applecart a little but overall the story works well, each woman having her individual voice in alternating chapters. It is wonderful to see the lives of these women celebrated posthumously through fiction

And coming soon is Chevalier’s latest novel The Glass Maker, set in Venice, one to watch out for! 12 September 2024 in the UK

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