Remarkable Creatures: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

A voyage of discovery, two remarkable women, and an extraordinary time and place enrich this New York Times bestselling novel by Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Last Runaway.



On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary Anning learns that she has a unique gift: "the eye" to spot fossils no one else can...
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Remarkable Creatures: A Novel

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Overview

A voyage of discovery, two remarkable women, and an extraordinary time and place enrich this New York Times bestselling novel by Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Last Runaway.



On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary Anning learns that she has a unique gift: "the eye" to spot fossils no one else can see. When she uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious community on edge, the townspeople to gossip, and the scientific world alight. After enduring bitter cold, thunderstorms, and landslips, her challenges only grow when she falls in love with an impossible man.



Mary soon finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a middle-class spinster who shares her passion for scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy, but ultimately turns out to be their greatest asset.



Remarkable Creatures is a stunning historical novel that follows the story of two extraordinary 19th century fossil hunters who changed the scientific world forever.
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  • Tracy Chevalier
    Tracy Chevalier  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The discoveries of fossils on the beaches of Lyme Regis, England, in the 19th century rocked the world and opened the minds of scientists to the planet's unimaginable age and the extinction of species. Though attributed to men of consequence, the first remarkable finds were made by the poor working-class Anning family—and their young daughter, Mary. Chevalier wraps the history with a tale of the friendship between Mary and Elizabeth Philpot, a gentlewoman also fascinated by the creatures of stone, in a time when women were thought to be ill-suited to the work or incapable of understanding the scope of their finds. Each of these two characters tells a first-person story, and Susan Lyons gives Elizabeth Philpot the diction, reserve, subdued tones, and poise expected of a gentlewoman and shades her with idiosyncrasies, passions, and palpable loneliness. Charlotte Parry is convincing as a callow, coarse Mary Anning, and listeners will witness her gradual maturing and refinement as the story unfolds. The quality audio production enhances Chevalier's picturesque historical novel. A Dutton hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 28). (Jan.)
Library Journal
In early 1800s England, unmarried women of the upper classes were often relegated to the fringes of society, where they could find a polite way to spend their days; those of the lower classes had even fewer options. This work, based on a true story, portrays two women from these diverse backgrounds who share a fascination with fossils. Mary Anning is an impoverished girl with a gift for finding prehistoric skeletons along the coast, which also interest genteel spinster Elizabeth Philpot. She recognizes Mary's talent as she also understands the enormous implications of the specimens uncovered, for this was before Darwin, when the concept of extinction was unknown, and it was blasphemous to consider that some of God's creatures may have been flawed. Over time, both women strive for scientific credibility, love, and financial stability, with varying degrees of success. VERDICT Superbly creating a unique setting, as she did in The Girl with a Pearl Earring, Chevalier captures the atmosphere of a chilly, blustery coast and an oppressive social hierarchy in real Dickensian fashion. Readers of historical fiction will enjoy this fascinating tale of rustic paleontology. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/09.]—Susanne Wells, P.L. of Cincinnati & Hamilton Cty.\
Kirkus Reviews
More fact-based historical fiction from Chevalier (Burning Bright, 2007, etc.): the vivid, rewarding tale of 19th-century fossil hunter Mary Anning. Before Darwin's findings rocked the world, a small group of scientists were already-in some people's view, blasphemously-questioning the age of the Earth, the finality of God's creation and the possibility of an ancient world before man. In young Mary's case, however, finding fossils quite simply keeps her family from the workhouse. Raised in Lyme Regis on the English coast, she's trained by her father to spot what they call "curies" (curiosities): ammonites, belemnites, fossilized fish on the beach and embedded in cliffs that the family sells to tourists during the summer. Paired with Mary's narrative is that of Elizabeth Philpot, dispatched with her two sisters from London to the coast when their brother marries. Elizabeth (also a historical figure, like most of the characters) is impressed by Mary's sharp eye and considerable knowledge about fossils, remarkable qualities for an illiterate girl. Plain, outspoken and without the substantial income that would make those failings palatable, Elizabeth is resigned to spinsterhood, but Lyme offers outlets for her curiosity about the natural world, as well as the satisfaction of watching a burgeoning science develop. She forms an unlikely alliance with Mary as they comb the beach together, and when Mary's discoveries of several complete dinosaur fossils (including a pterodactyl) bring the scientific community to her door, Elizabeth acts as spokeswoman for her less confident friend. Chevalier handles the science with a deft hand, but her real subject is two women barred from the professionalcommunity of men who are also denied access to the more acceptable roles of wife and mother. (Mary's "unwholesome" pursuits and working-class background put her beyond the pale of proper society.). Yet somehow Mary and Elizabeth thrive, and the novel glories in their substantial achievements against considerable odds. Shines a light on women usually excluded from history-and on the simple pleasures of friendship.
Publishers Weekly
The discoveries of fossils on the beaches of Lyme Regis, England, in the 19th century rocked the world and opened the minds of scientists to the planet's unimaginable age and the extinction of species. Though attributed to men of consequence, the first remarkable finds were made by the poor working-class Anning family—and their young daughter, Mary. Chevalier wraps the history with a tale of the friendship between Mary and Elizabeth Philpot, a gentlewoman also fascinated by the creatures of stone, in a time when women were thought to be ill-suited to the work or incapable of understanding the scope of their finds. Each of these two characters tells a first-person story, and Susan Lyons gives Elizabeth Philpot the diction, reserve, subdued tones, and poise expected of a gentlewoman and shades her with idiosyncrasies, passions, and palpable loneliness. Charlotte Parry is convincing as a callow, coarse Mary Anning, and listeners will witness her gradual maturing and refinement as the story unfolds. The quality audio production enhances Chevalier's picturesque historical novel. A Dutton hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 28). (Jan.)
Library Journal
New York Times best-selling author Chevalier's (www.tchevalier.com) sixth historical novel, following Burning Bright (2007)—also available from Recorded Books and Penguin Audio—centers on two unique women who bond over their shared love of fossils. Chevalier's overemphasis on the gender inequalities and class rivalries of early 19th-century England occasionally weighs the novel down, but the juxtaposition of actresses Charlotte Parry's and Susan Lyons's vocal qualities as they render their respective characters provides auditory interest, and the joint narration of the text helps to move the story along. Those with a predilection for historical fiction, English settings, and strong female characters will greatly enjoy this audio, which benefits from beginning- and end-of-disc announcements. [The Dutton hc received a starred review, LJ 11/1/09.—Ed.]—David Faucheux, Louisiana Audio Information & Reading Svc., Lafayette
The Barnes & Noble Review

In England two hundred years ago, when Tracy Chevalier's new novel takes place, the idea that animals could become extinct was too radical for most to contemplate. Fossils could be decorative and might even have magical powers, but they couldn't possibly be the remains of creatures that God had erased from the world. Surely, people thought, the huge, toothy skeletons that were beginning to be unearthed from the cliffs of Lyme Regis, a shabby resort town on the Dorset coast, must belong to beasts that still exist in some remote land.

Imagine the anxiety these beliefs produced. What if one of those bloodthirsty monsters suddenly swam up onto the beach? What if the Earth (which, according to church doctrine, was created by God in six 24-hour time slots beginning at 8:00 PM on October 23, 4004 BC) was in fact always changing, and not comfortingly constant? For conventional Britons of the Regency period, the discovery of these fossils was amazing and disturbing in equal measure.

Such a milieu offers rich reserves for a historical novelist to plumb. And Chevalier's story -- whose outlines are mostly true, though the author admits in a postscript that she "made up plenty" -- gets even better as she explains who was performing those early-nineteenth-century Lyme Regis excavations.

It was a working-class girl named Mary Anning, who kept her family out of the poorhouse by selling "curies" -- curiosities -- that she found on the beach. (She inspired the tongue-twister "She sells seashells by the seashore.") Mary Anning had very little education and few rights -- no women of any class could vote or attend university at the time, and certainly none wouldbe allowed across the threshold of London's Geological Society, where Anning's finds were hotly discussed -- yet she knew more about the fledgling field of paleontology than all the blustery gentlemen collectors who charged onto the Lyme beaches, hoping to nab themselves a specimen.

In 1810, at age eleven, Mary uncovered the first complete skeleton of an ichthyosaurus, though it then had no name and was thought to be some sort of crocodile. (The word "dinosaur" would not enter the language until 1824.) In 1821 she found the first plesiosaurus, and in 1828 the first dimorphodon, a kind of pterosaur. These major discoveries brought her fame during her lifetime, but never distinction, or even financial solvency. She remained, as one of Chevalier's male characters describes her, "a spare part," an oddball, an outsider.

"The world has used me so unkindly, I fear it has made me suspicious of every one," Mary once wrote in a letter. Yet Chevalier is much too canny a novelist to turn her version of Anning's life into a strident catalogue of feminist and class-discrimination grievances. Instead, in Chevalier's imagining, Mary's grim limitations cling to her as plainly and stubbornly as her ambitions, without much fuss. This is a quiet book, it turns out, about a spinster who walked up and down the beach nearly every day of her life. Like Chevalier's most popular previous novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, its eloquence lives in that quietness, its frankness like cold clear water after too much wine.

Mary's voice alternates throughout Remarkable Creatures with that of her friend Elizabeth Philpot, another unmarried woman, twenty years her senior. Elizabeth lives with her sisters in Lyme's more upscale neighborhood, sustained by a secure but hardly lavish annuity. More or less resigned to spinsterhood ("too plain, and too serious") and in need of something to occupy herself, Elizabeth cultivates an interest in fossil fish, becoming nearly as accomplished as Mary in finding specimens. Although they become rivals for the scant attentions of at least one unsuitable suitor, and despite their differences in age, class, and education, Mary and Elizabeth develop a long, useful friendship. (Like Anning, Elizabeth Philpot was a real person who made important contributions to fossil science; the Philpot Museum in Lyme Regis, quite active today, was built on the site of Mary Anning's birthplace.)

It's Elizabeth, in Chevalier's dramatization, who encourages Mary to learn to read, and teaches her to label her fossils using Linnaean classification instead of Anning's childish diminutives, her "ammos and bellies and lilies and gryphies." She advances money to Mary to help pay for excavations, and once even pulls the younger woman out of a landslip that has buried her in an ooze of blue clay, a common enough danger on Lyme's ever-shifting cliffs.

For her part, Mary teaches Elizabeth how to hone her vision when fossil hunting, and then how to clean and display her treasures. Perhaps more important, the two friends find companionship in a society that only recognizes women in service to men, and thus views these spinsters as suspiciously peculiar. The rescue of a happy marriage, like those in the novels by Jane Austen which Elizabeth's sister Margaret favors, is less and less likely as the years pass. So they stave off loneliness in the silent amity of long beachcombing days.

"A woman's life is always a compromise," Elizabeth muses with some bitterness. Meanwhile, buzzing around Mary is a throng of wealthy, unimpeded men, eager to use her as "a knowledgeable servant" to advance their own dreams of scientific glory. Free to be as eccentric as they please without fear of ostracism, these figures (again, almost all of them real) would receive star billing in The Big Book of British Weirdos, if such a book existed (and I so wish it did). Among their number are William Buckland, the flamboyant Oxford geologist whose hobbies include eating one of every species in the animal kingdom, and retired blowhard Colonel Thomas Birch, who in his fossil-collecting fervor treats Mary with both surprising kindness and heedless cruelty.

Amid all this clamor, two women are quietly making discoveries that will change the way men understand the world, opening the way to Darwin and the battles over creation that continue in our own day. Chevalier gets everything right here -- the din and the silence, the strangeness of those times and the shadowing of our own -- and then, with practical effectiveness, she wisely gets out of the way. --Donna Rifkind

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101152454
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 47,653
  • File size: 441 KB

Meet the Author

Tracy Chevalier
"I was born and grew up in Washington, DC. After getting a BA in English from Oberlin College (Ohio), I moved to London, England in 1984. I intended to stay 6 months; I’m still here.


"As a kid I’d often said I wanted to be a writer because I loved books and wanted to be associated with them. I wrote the odd story in high school, but it was only in my twenties that I started writing ‘real’ stories, at night and on weekends. Sometimes I wrote a story in a couple evenings; other times it took me a whole year to complete one.


"Once I took a night class in creative writing, and a story I’d written for it was published in a London-based magazine called Fiction. I was thrilled, even though the magazine folded 4 months later.


I worked as a reference book editor for several years until 1993 when I left my job and did a year-long MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (England). My tutors were the English novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain. For the first time in my life I was expected to write every day, and I found I liked it. I also finally had an idea I considered ‘big’ enough to fill a novel. I began The Virgin Blue during that year, and continued it once the course was over, juggling writing with freelance editing.


"An agent is essential to getting published. I found my agent Jonny Geller through dumb luck and good timing. A friend from the MA course had just signed on with him and I sent my manuscript of The Virgin Blue mentioning my friend’s name. Jonny was just starting as an agent and needed me as much as I needed him. Since then he’s become a highly respected agent in the UK and I’ve gone along for the ride."












Biography

Tracy Chevalier first gained attention by imagining the answer to one of art history's small but intriguing questions: Who is the subject of Johannes Vermeer's painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring"?

It was a bold move on Chevalier's part to build a story around the somewhat mysterious 17th-century Dutch painter and his unassuming but luminous subject; but the author's purist approach helped set the tone. "I decided early on that I wanted [Girl] to be a simple story, simply told, and to imitate with words what Vermeer was doing with paint," Chevalier told her college's alumni magazine. "That may sound unbelievably pretentious, but I didn't mean it as 'I can do Vermeer in words.' I wanted to write it in a way that Vermeer would have painted: very simple lines, simple compositions, not a lot of clutter, and not a lot of superfluous characters."

Chevalier achieved her objective expertly, helped by the fact that she employed the famous Girl as narrator of the story. Sixteen-year-old Griet becomes a maid in Vermeer's tumultuous household, developing an apprentice relationship with the painter while drawing attention from other men and jealousy from women. Praise for the novel poured in: "Chevalier's exploration into the soul of this complex but naïve young woman is moving, and her depiction of 17th-century Delft is marvelously evocative," wrote the New York Times Book Review. The Wall Street Journal called it "vibrant and sumptuous."

Girl with a Pearl Earring was not Chevalier's first exploration of the past. In The Virgin Blue, her U.K.-published first novel (due for a U.S. edition in 2003), her modern-day character Ella Turner goes back to 16th-century France in order to revisit her family history. As a result, she finds parallels between herself and a troubled ancestor -- a woman whose fate had been unknown until Ella discovers it.

With 2001's Falling Angels, Chevalier -- a former reference book editor who began her fiction career by enrolling in the graduate writing program at University of East Anglia -- continued to tell stories of women in the past. But she has been open about the fact that compared to writing Girl with a Pearl Earring, the "nightmare" creating of her third novel was difficult and fraught with complications, even tears. The pressure of her previous success, coupled with a first draft that wasn't working out, made Chevalier want to abandon the effort altogether. Then, reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible led Chevalier to change her approach. "[Kingsolver] did such a fantastic job using different voices and I thought, with Falling Angels, I've told it in the wrong way," Chevalier told Bookpage magazine. "I wanted it to have lots of perspective."

With that, Chevalier began a rewrite of her tale about two families in the first decade of 20th-century London. With more than ten narrators (some more prominent than others), Falling Angels has perspective in spades and lots to maintain interest over its relatively brief span: a marriage in trouble, a girlhood friendship born at Highgate Cemetery, a woman's introduction to the suffragette movement. A spirited, fast-paced story, Falling Angels again earned critical praise. "This moving, bittersweet book flaunts Chevalier's gift for creating complex characters and an engaging plot," Book magazine concluded.

Chevalier continues to pursue her fascination with art and history in her fourth novel, on which she is currently at work. According to Oberlin Alumni Magazine, she is basing the book on the Lady and the Unicorn medieval tapestries that hang in Paris's Cluny Museum.

Good To Know

Chevalier's interest in Vermeer extends beyond a fascination with one painting. "I have always loved Vermeer's paintings," Chevalier writes on her Web site. "One of my life goals is to view all thirty-five of them in the flesh. I've seen all but one -- ‘Young Girl Reading a Letter' -- which hangs in Dresden. There is so much mystery in each painting, in the women he depicts, so many stories suggested but not told. I wanted to tell one of them."

Chevalier moved from the States to London in 1984. "I intended to stay six months," she writes. "I'm still here." She lives near Highgate Cemetery with her husband and son.

The film version of Girl with a Pearl Earring is on the 2003 slate from Lions Gate Films, with Scarlett Johansson in the role of Griet and Colin Firth playing Vermeer.

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 19, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Oberlin College, 1984; M.A. in creative writing, University of East Anglia, 1994
    2. Website:

Interviews & Essays

A Message from the Author
One rainy day during school vacation, I took my son to a small dinosaur museum in southern England. He was in the dinosaur stage of his obsessions, and needed entertaining. I was not looking for an idea for a novel there. But that is what I came out with.

In one corner of the museum there was a small display about a woman named Mary Anning. In 1811 she and her brother found a complete specimen of an ichthyosaur, an ancient marine reptile which no one knew had even existed. (They thought it was a crocodile.) The discovery of such a creature challenged commonly held beliefs about the creation of the world. At that time there was no concept of extinction -- it would have been considered blasphemous to suggest that God might have created animals that He then allowed to die out as if they were mistakes.

Mary had no idea of the controversy her "crocodile" would set off. She was simply finding and selling fossils to make a living. That was what drew me to her story: she was a working-class woman holding her own among middle-class male scientists. There was something special about her -- underlined by the fact that she survived being struck by lightning as a baby. Indeed, some suggested that made her more intelligent.

I had a lot of fun researching Remarkable Creatures, in particular in getting to know Lyme Regis, a small town on the south coast where Mary lived. An isolated fishing village which became a tourist destination by the early 19th century, Lyme Regis still attracts eccentric, independent sorts. Most readers know it as the setting of John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman. Visitors like to walk to the end of the town's curved jetty, called the Cobb, and do their best Meryl Streep impersonation from the movie, tossing their hair and looking mournfully out to sea as the waves crash around them.

There's another side to Lyme Regis, though, which is equally dramatic: its beaches and cliffs stuffed with 200 million-year-old fossils. I spent a lot of time on those beaches, following in Mary's footsteps and keeping one eye on the tide and falling rocks as I searched for ammonites, belemnites and the odd dinosaur bone. I even managed to find the shoulder bone and vertebra of a plesiosaur, one of the other creatures Mary discovered. Those moments of discovery were like bolts of lightning for me, and I felt for a second that I was experiencing my character's life. --Tracy Chevalier
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 185 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(53)

4 Star

(61)

3 Star

(43)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 186 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Remarkable Find

    Mary Anning has been a unique girl ever since she survived being struck by lightning as a baby. She has a special knack for finding rare fossils of unknown creatures on the beaches near her home. Elizabeth Philpot is a young spinster when she meets Mary, instantly taking an interest in fossils herself. From this moment, we watch the friendship grow between these two different women as they navigate family, love, society, and the male dominated world of Fossils.

    Chevalier has a uncommon ability to make people from a very specific time and place come alive once more. I had to pause a few times to remind myself that these characters lived long ago, as they felt so real and tangible to me. She has a writing style full of prose so beautiful and soft, it will make the vision at the edges of your sight blur until the only thing in focus is the page in front of you.

    Unusual side effect: reading this book made me want to go scour the beaches for my own fossil finds!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Yawnfest

    It is a shame to see such a beautifully written novel fall short to entertain. There was no plot, no height to the story, and no entertainment factor. It was extremely boring. I did finish it, however, by the time I reached the end I wish I wouldn't have. I was upset that I devoted so much time to read it. There were several times the story would reach the point of wondering what's going to happen next and than nothing did. For instance, when bones of a woman were discovered on the the shore, there was no great mystery behind it. It is basically a story about the relationship of two woman who have fossil hunting in common. It is one long boring story about their lives intertwined. It was well written, but that is all I can say good about it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Newest Tracy Chevalier

    My mother and I have read all of Tracy Chevalier's books and the last few we have been rather disappointed, but this one makes up for it! It's quite gripping and compelling, on par with Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Lady and the Unicorn.
    Absolutely wonderful! Such a good book to just sit down and read the whole thing!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2010

    Why is the ebook more $$ than the paper copy?

    Why is the ebook more $$ than the paper copy?

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Less saucy than The Girl with a Pearl Earring

    If you are a Jane Austen fan, this book would make a great companion piece. Where those books are lovely in their wit and tidy endings, Chevalier shines in portraying a different type of woman living in that same time, whose stories do not always go the way we wish for them. I was thrown off by the lightning element at the start of the book, thinking that this story would veer off into magical realism (it didn't). This isn't the type of book that will keep you up at night for 'just one more chapter' but if you are a fan of historical fiction you'll be happy with the details on location, time, gender, and class.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Remarkable Creatures a book by Tracy Chevalier

    Tracy Chevalier once again managed a little miracle by bringing back to life Mary Anning and Ms. Elizabeth Philpot who have long been dust themselves back on the beaches of Lyme's coastal cliffs. She once again made people from a very specific time and place come alive once more. I felt I was right there, walking along the beach of Lyme Regis with them in search of fossils, ammonites and crocs! Her writing style of prose so beautiful and soft, just flows gently and slowly sips in you until all you can think of, even when you put the book down, is fossil hunting on the beaches of Lyme. Remarkable Creatures is indeed about these two remarkable ladies, who little did they know at the time, contributed with their simple lives, their curiosity, perseverance, endurance and inner strength to how the scientific world begun "considering" the idea of extinction, regardless of how shocking this idea was in the early 19th century...

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    an entertaining historical fiction novel

    Born in 1799 in Lyme Regis, England, her father gave his daughter quite an education to search for the "curies" of life that can be found by the beach so they can sell their catch to wealthy tourists. This was Mary Anning's training at paleontology fossil hunting. She became one of the best and hr research led to her belief that the age of the earth was much older than that of the Old Testament as proof of an age with gigantic creatures before humanity (and Darwin) existed.

    Elizabeth Philpot and her family come to coastal England for their brother's marriage. She meets Mary and enjoys the fossil hunter's tales. They become friends and partners searching for the bones of pre mankind. When Mary discovers fully intact dinosaur remains, Elizabeth speaks for both of them in front of the science community that detests females in their business and several try to rip off the find as theirs. However their BFF is tested when Colonel Thomas Birch arrives in Lyme Regis to ask Mary to help him on his fossil hunt.

    Based on real people who made incredible contributions to paleontology before Darwin, Remarkable Creatures is an entertaining historical fiction that showcases the strength of conviction a woman had to have to do anything outside the accepted limited roles. We come more than just a long way, try light years, from the Regency-Victorian eras. Fans will enjoy Tracy Chevalier's spotlight on two women who made a difference as their work is still on display in Oxford.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2011

    fantastic read!

    Tracy Chevalier does an outstanding job of showing you raw, realistic history while compelling you to turn the page. An unlikely friendship in an age where women do not have equality, this is a superb example of the rise of great women. I love every book of Ms. Chevalier's because they are all different in genre and are never repititious. Can't wait for the next book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    eBook more than paperback

    Come on, B&N - your pricing on Nook books should be lower than the paperback copies.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Remarkable Creatures, remarkably well written

    Chevalier develops her characters thoroughly, reflecting the class distinctions of the times with two women's enduring friendship and devotion despite such barriers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    Good read

    I thought this was one of Chevalier's better ones. An enjoyable read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Another Solidly good story by Tracy Chevalier...

    Loved it. Chevalier's characters are ALWAYS interesting and alive. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Chevalier's Best

    I am a huge Chevalier fan, and this book is her best yet. She has such a talent for picking topics that would seem mundane, yet she makes them fascinating and intricate with feminist themes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another beautiful novel from Tracy Chevalier

    As with all of Tracy Chevalier's novels, you are transported into a another time and place and learn a little of history as you go. I actually liked this novel better than her last. This was my first e-book purchase and it was really easy and a bargain. I used my iPhone B&N app to quickly find Tracy's latest novel, clicked a few buttons and I was reading her new book without leaving home. I highly recommend both the book and the format.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    Recognizing women's contribution to science.

    I suppose the book was written the only way possible. It turns out to be suitable for young readers as well as their elders. Personally, I would have enjoyed a side story delving into the philosophical struggles of early paleontology reconciling biblical history with natural history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    Forest

    Here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Loved it!

    Fantastic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Nancy

    Do not waste your time. It helps that this is a real woman, but this is one boring book. I finished it for my book club only. A giant waste of time!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Excellent

    I think this was a wonderfull womans friendship story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Saphira

    LOOKS:silver fur and striking emerald eyes slim and swift PERSONALITY:undefined wild free loyal trusting brave MATE:None GENDER:Female DEN: 6th result FAMILY:None

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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