[[ read online ]] Remarkable CreaturesAuthor Tracy Chevalier – Collateralloan.co

In , a sister and brother uncover the fossilized skull of an unknown animal in the cliffs on the south coast of England With its long snout and prominent teeth, it might be a crocodile except that it has a huge, bulbous eye Remarkable Creatures is the story of Mary Anning, who has a talent for finding fossils, and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles such as that ichthyosaur shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the worldWorking in an arena dominated by middle class men, however, Mary finds herself out of step with her working class background In danger of being an outcast in her community, she takes solace in an unlikely friendship with Elizabeth Philpot, a prickly London spinster with her own passion for fossilsThe strong bond between Mary and Elizabeth sees them through struggles with poverty, rivalry and ostracism, as well as the physical dangers of their chosen obsession It reminds us that friendship can outlast storms and landslides, anger and jealousy


10 thoughts on “Remarkable Creatures

  1. MomToKippy MomToKippy says:

    Some of my favorite things about Remarkable Creatures 1 Bathing machines 2 Fossils, of course 3 A regency era book about friendship between two women, rather than the marriage of some rehabilitated rake and some nubile.4 Elizabeth s characterization of people based upon what feature they lead with eyes, hair, hands 5 Fossils I enjoyed this book a lotafter I came across some information about who Mary Anning really was At first, I did not realize this was based on the stories o Some of my favorite things about Remarkable Creatures 1 Bathing machines 2 Fossils, of course 3 A regency era book about friendship between two women, rather than the marriage of some rehabilitated rake and some nubile.4 Elizabeth s characterization of people based upon what feature they lead with eyes, hair, hands 5 Fossils I enjoyed this book a lotafter I came across some information about who Mary Anning really was At first, I did not realize this was based on the stories of real people and the amazing discoveries of two women inlcuding the first ichthyosaur skeleton correctly identified.Very enjoyable and now I want to go to Lyme Regis with a little hammer and hunt for fossils


  2. Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ says:

    I now knowthan I ever expected to about fossil collecting by English women during the Regency period.This historical novel is somewhat loosely based on several people who actually lived, and either hunted or collected fossils, in England in the early 1800s It alternates between the viewpoints of Elizabeth Philpot, a genteel spinster in reduced circumstances who moves to Lyme Regis by the sea a hotbed for fossil hunters and discovers a passion for fossils, and Mary Anning, the daughter o I now knowthan I ever expected to about fossil collecting by English women during the Regency period.This historical novel is somewhat loosely based on several people who actually lived, and either hunted or collected fossils, in England in the early 1800s It alternates between the viewpoints of Elizabeth Philpot, a genteel spinster in reduced circumstances who moves to Lyme Regis by the sea a hotbed for fossil hunters and discovers a passion for fossils, and Mary Anning, the daughter of a destitute cabinetmaker s widow, who supplements the family income by finding and selling fossils Despite their differences in age and social status, the two form a friendship based on their mutual fascination with fossils that lasts for many years and survives some ups and downs.I knew that Regency era society had its fads and fascinations with ancient history, but fossils and the attendant religious controversy were new for me How can we believe in animals that are extinct if God never makes mistakes How can we rationalize dinosaur fossils with the belief that the earth was created only a few thousand years ago Tracy Chevalier manages to address these questions without sounding too disrespectful of religious beliefs, other than those that advocate a very literal reading of the Bible s 6 day creation period story, allowing no room for debate.The other major theme running through the pages of the book is the role of women It was extremely difficult for Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot to get any respect or recognition for their accomplishments And with all the Regency romances that are so popular, it s good to see arealistic take on what women at that time could expect for love and marriage She sank into spinsterhood beside Louise and me.There are worse fates.I was mildly irked by one plotline that seemed like a modern imposition on Regency society and there s nothing in actual history to support this part of the story view spoiler Mary and Elizabeth both fall for the same older guy Mary hopes that he ll ask her to marry him, but eventually realizes that s simply not going to happen After she figures that out, she decides to sleep with him just one time, just for the experience of having sex, because she s realized she s not likely to ever marry him or anyone else It just seemed like late 20th century kind of thinking to me If she d slept with the guy hoping to get him to marry her, that would have madesense for those times Plus the guy is kind of a cad, but that s a whole nother story hide spoiler Overall, not quite as deep or fascinating or insightful as I would have liked, but still worth reading


  3. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 3 of five The Publisher Says A voyage of discoveries, a meeting of two remarkable women, and extraordinary time and place enrich bestselling author Tracy Chevalier s enthralling new novelFrom the moment she s struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear that Mary Anning is marked for greatness On the windswept, fossil strewn beaches of the English coast, she learns that she has the eye and finds what no one else can see When Mary uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs Rating 3 of five The Publisher Says A voyage of discoveries, a meeting of two remarkable women, and extraordinary time and place enrich bestselling author Tracy Chevalier s enthralling new novelFrom the moment she s struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear that Mary Anning is marked for greatness On the windswept, fossil strewn beaches of the English coast, she learns that she has the eye and finds what no one else can see When Mary uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight In an arena dominated by men, however, Mary is barred from the academic community as a young woman with unusual interests she is suspected of sinful behavior Nature is a threat, throwing bitter, cold storms and landslips at her And when she falls in love, it is with an impossible man.Luckily, Mary finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a recent exile from London, who also loves scouring the beaches Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy Ultimately, in the struggle to be recognized in the wider world, Mary and Elizabeth discover that friendship is their greatest ally Remarkable Creatures is a stunning novel of how one woman s gift transcends class and social prejudice to lead to some of the most important discoveries of the nineteenth century Above all, is it a revealing portrait of the intricate and resilient nature of female friendship My Review A middling book about interesting times and people Not extraordinarily well, or poorly, written Not unusual or original in plotting or in, frankly, any way I can think of Like all of Chevalier s work, a solid, well made entertainment, about a subject most of us have never given one instant s thought to.Therein its charm Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot weren t the women of Jane Austen s novels, and they weren t subjected to the same constraints as those women were They lived in poverty whether genteel or grinding, and they followed their own interests instead of doing what was thought to be necessary to get a husband Chevalier points up the ways in which this freedom made the women best able to pursue the passions each might never have known had she been a mother and a wife.We owe our knowledge of plesiosaurs and other aquatic beasts of the era to these remarkable women, who hunted for and preserved fossils along England s Dorset coast That Mary Anning was theproductive of the two and that it was she who found the major finds does not minimize the better off Miss Philpot s many contributions, both emotional and financial, to the process.In the end, it is the usual suspect, jealousy, that ends the friendship across a generation and a class divide Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot fall in love with the same man It leads to the eruption of their other jealousies, of course, and the many things we think but never say come out of each woman s mouth.Years pass, and many events occur, but unlike theirs, endings are only rarely as good as beginnings Anning and Philpot lived in a time when the role of a woman was to be of service Neither had a man to serve, so they served Mankind with their old rock boned beasts Much of what we think today would have been harder and later in coming without them, their small but vital role in making modern science what it is.Remarkable creatures indeed This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


  4. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    Another winner by ChevalierI had never heard of Mary Anning and as I read this, it again dawned on me how many women have been erased and disappeared from history because of sexism and male prejudice during the times they lived inAnning was a major paleontologist who was completely self taught, living in poverty, and discovered several important prehistoric fossils from the Jurassic period that challenged the conventional thinking of the time about creation, the age of the earth, and survi Another winner by ChevalierI had never heard of Mary Anning and as I read this, it again dawned on me how many women have been erased and disappeared from history because of sexism and male prejudice during the times they lived inAnning was a major paleontologist who was completely self taught, living in poverty, and discovered several important prehistoric fossils from the Jurassic period that challenged the conventional thinking of the time about creation, the age of the earth, and survival of the fittest 50 years before Darwin wrote the Origin of the Species..It is evenamazing when one discovers she found some of her most famous fossils when still a child..Her recognition for these achievements is taken from her by the wealthy male landowners and scientists who try to claim her discoveries for themselves.Bravo to Chevalier for making the unknown known about this remarkable intelligent women and the ongoing strength of her supportive friendship with another fossil hunter, Elizabeth Philpot


  5. da AL da AL says:

    A gorgeously written story about fossils and friendship Its rare gentleness makes it truly beautiful The two audiobook narrators do an incredible job as well.


  6. Candi Candi says:

    Remarkable Creatures is a beautifully written book about two remarkable women, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot A fictional account based on real life characters and events, Remarkable Creatures is set in the early 1800 s in the coastal town of Lyme Regis, England Poor, uneducated Mary Anning and middle class, London bred Elizabeth Philpot form what is considered an unconventional friendship, due to their differing social classes, based on their love of fossils and fossil hunting Despite my Remarkable Creatures is a beautifully written book about two remarkable women, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot A fictional account based on real life characters and events, Remarkable Creatures is set in the early 1800 s in the coastal town of Lyme Regis, England Poor, uneducated Mary Anning and middle class, London bred Elizabeth Philpot form what is considered an unconventional friendship, due to their differing social classes, based on their love of fossils and fossil hunting Despite my extremely limited knowledge in the fields of geology and paleontology, I found this book fascinating The novel alternates back and forth between the points of view of both Mary and Elizabeth I found this to be a very effective means for the reader to gain insight into the innermost thoughts of both of these women Always lurking in the background is of course the restraints placed on both women due to their gender and their social class Mary Anning was truly a gifted fossil hunter and yet she struggled to become recognized for her work due to being a female during these times She was most definitely looked down upon as a result of her working class status Elizabeth Philpot, due to her middle class standing, was able to champion Mary in certain social and scientific circles However, Elizabeth was also limited in these circles due to her gender Having gone to London to defend Mary at one point in the novel, Elizabeth, like all women at the time, was not allowed past the threshold of the Geological Society Mary, perhaps due to her lower class standing, found it easier to take risks and express her true feelings without caring what others would think Elizabeth, however, was possiblyinhibited due to herelevated position as a lady in society than was Mary Elizabeth felt the need to showdecorum as was expected by society The differences in the women s own expectations and expressions of their needs and desires is perhaps what placedof an eventual strain on their relationship than did the social conventions themselves What appealed to me personally was their ability to grow as individuals, learn from one another, and find the true gift and meaning of forgiveness In addition to the scientific and social narratives in Remarkable Creatures, Tracy Chevalier also examines the religious significance of the findings of these fossils The setting of this book occurs before Darwin s The Origin of Species, at a time when scientific and religious thinking substantially clashed with one another Uncovering the bones of animals that no longer existed on earth confused many people and raised complicated questions regarding God s hand in the creation of the earth and its creatures Would God create creatures to later bring about or allow their eventual demise And what ramifications would this have on humanity itself The scientific community as well as laymen and the clergy struggled with these questions When Elizabeth Philpot challenges Reverend Jones with the theory that a certain fossil specimen is an animal that God rejected in favor of a better design the Reverend contends All that you see about you is as God set it out in the beginning He did not create beasts and then get rid of them That would suggest He had made a mistake, and of course God is all knowing and incapable of error, is He not and then later God placed fossils there when He created the rocks, to test our faith Even the learned men in this novel struggle with these mysteries Geologist and Oxford professor William Buckland says I cannot see why God would want to kill off what He has created Geology is always to be used in the service of religion, to study the wonders of God s creation and marvel at His genius Despite his own fossil research and teaching position at Oxford, William Buckland remained uncertain and unable to reconcile his scientific and religious views Additional debates ensued regarding whether the Bible should be interpreted literally or figuratively I found these reflections to be quite thought provoking in many ways.I recommend this book to anyone interested in learningabout fossils and fossil hunting regardless of current knowledge of the subject Tracy Chevalier has inspired me to look further into the topic with some suggested further reading listed at the end of this novel Even if fossils themselves do not arouse your curiosity, this is still a wonderful composition of a remarkable friendship that overcomes class struggles and personal conflicts, and a compelling glimpse at the impact of science on religion


  7. Duane Duane says:

    This is the story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, fossil collectors in England in the first half of the 19th century Their gender and social class kept them from receiving the credit and recognition they deserved for their discoveries Historical fiction with great characters and a very interesting subject Tracy Chevalier is one of the best writers today in this genre.


  8. Antje Antje says:

    I know, this book is not great literature but for some reasons I really enjoyed it and will count it to my favourite bokks The story is about Mary Anning, who lived in Lyme Regis and since she was a girl uncovered fossils of at the time unknown creatures Elisabeth Philpot, an educated woman from London,was forced to move to Lyme Regis with her sisters, because in the family was not enough money for all the sisters to marry She started to hunt for fossils as well and despite their diffrent age I know, this book is not great literature but for some reasons I really enjoyed it and will count it to my favourite bokks The story is about Mary Anning, who lived in Lyme Regis and since she was a girl uncovered fossils of at the time unknown creatures Elisabeth Philpot, an educated woman from London,was forced to move to Lyme Regis with her sisters, because in the family was not enough money for all the sisters to marry She started to hunt for fossils as well and despite their diffrent age, Elisabeth was about 20 years older then Mary, and their diffrent background, Mary came from a workers family, they became companions and friends.The book is not just an intresting feature about the ideas about the world s creation and our origins in that time, but it is about friendship between two very diffrent women and how they fight for recognition in a scientific world, dominated by men Apart from that, if anybody is intrested in fossils and geology, this is a nice way to start.For me, it was specially intresting, because I live in the areaand will be able to go to Lyme Regis to follow Marys and Elisabeths traces


  9. Joy D Joy D says:

    Historical fiction based on the lives of real people, amateur paleontologists Elizabeth Philpot and Mary Anning, in the early 1800s in Lyme Regis, England Elizabeth is an educated lady who has relocated from London, and Mary is a working class daughter of an impoverished cabinet maker They become unlikely friends, bonding over their love of fossils and searching for them by the sea When Mary unearths a skeleton of what appears to be a large crocodile, it ultimately leads to their interaction Historical fiction based on the lives of real people, amateur paleontologists Elizabeth Philpot and Mary Anning, in the early 1800s in Lyme Regis, England Elizabeth is an educated lady who has relocated from London, and Mary is a working class daughter of an impoverished cabinet maker They become unlikely friends, bonding over their love of fossils and searching for them by the sea When Mary unearths a skeleton of what appears to be a large crocodile, it ultimately leads to their interaction with well known male paleontologists of the day.The narrative alternates perspectives between Elizabeth and Mary They are based on real people and Chevalier writes them into life, complete with obsessions and idiosyncrasies The two women face a number of obstacles, including a male dominated society that minimizes the role of women and church officials that do not support the concept of extinction The reader can feel a sense of injustice when Mary is not even given credit for discovering the skeleton The period is portrayed beautifully I particularly liked how the authors shows the tremendous gap in scientific knowledge at the time the fossils are initially discovered This book weaves together history, science, unconventional women, and a solid storyline, so it is no surprise that I enjoyed it tremendously It vividly portrays the thrill of discovery and inspired me to research the people behind the story I have read three of Chevalier s novels and this one is my favorite by far


  10. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    Finished I am glad that is over I think I chuckled maybe once The prose was stilted I have never run into such a bunch of miserable souls A huge disappointment I absolutely adored this author s book Girl with a Pearl Earring Through page 183 Ahhhh, I am laughing The two main woman characters are jealous of each other, and it s quite amusing Of course a man is invoved Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot are two real people and the two central characters of the book The story is told alt Finished I am glad that is over I think I chuckled maybe once The prose was stilted I have never run into such a bunch of miserable souls A huge disappointment I absolutely adored this author s book Girl with a Pearl Earring Through page 183 Ahhhh, I am laughing The two main woman characters are jealous of each other, and it s quite amusing Of course a man is invoved Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot are two real people and the two central characters of the book The story is told alternately through their voices The problem has been that Elizabeth has been so dammed level headed that its been driving me niuts A little jealousy is good for them They finally feel like real people Better late than never Through page 175 Half way through the book and finally something exciting has occurred I will not say what Much of the book is about the religious consequences of fossil discovery If fossils were in fact the remains of animals that no longer existed, this implied that God had made animals that were not perfect Further the creation of the earth as described in the bible had to be questioned Such religious consequences and the proper place of women in socity are the two main themes All is very well depicted, but now, after 175 pages, this is the first time my heart has been beating rapidly It is only now for the first time that I am emotionaly moved Through page 105 Well written, but sorry, it is not grabbing me It is rich in period detail and gives a good description of social s of provincial life in a small English resort town at the beginning of the 1800s So why don t I like itI don t know Maybe read the non fiction bookThe Fossil Hunter Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World if I wantafter reading Remarkable Creatures OrCuriosity