Tuesday, December 14, 2010

187 (2010 #52). Remarkable Creatures

by Tracy Chevalier,
read by Charlotte Parry and Susan Lyons

I think I've discovered a new historical fiction novelist that I'm going to love.  I read Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring some time ago (must re-read that), so when I saw this audiobook on the shelf at the local public library, I had to give it a try.

Chevalier has built a novel around the unlikely friendship of two real people, Mary Anning (1799-1847) and Elizabeth Philpot (1779-1857), both fossil hunters at Lyme Regis in England at the turn of the 19th century.  I'd heard of Anning, thanks to a children's book, but not of Philpot.  These fascinating women, particularly Anning, discovered many of the fossils that other scientists took credit for.  It was interesting to read how their contributions to science were discounted simply because of their sex.  There are also insights into the growing controversy between science and religion that fossil discoveries set off.

Charlotte Parry reads Mary with a Cockney accent, reflecting Anning's lower class origins, while Lyons is the proper and cultured Elizabeth.  The print version of the book ends with some historical notes, as does the audiobook, but also adds acknowledgments and suggested further reading,

© Amanda Pape - 2010

[This audiobook and hardbound copy were borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

1 comment:

  1. It must be the first name that makes her such a good writer!! I love it when I find a new author.