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Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

Remarkable Creatures

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In this story of female friendship and fortitude, Tracy Chevalier shows her skill for working history’s lost individuals into far-reaching fiction. Set in 19th century Lyme Regis, it centres on the bond between Mary Anning, a penniless girl who hunts fossils to make a living, and spinster Elizabeth Philpot. As Mary’s finds begin to attract the big boys of science – and a dashing chancer – her friendship with Elizabeth is compromised.

If you like Tracy Chevalier you might also like to read books by Rose Tremain, Anne Tyler and Philipp Meyer.


Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

A stunning novel of female friendship, forbidden love and evolution from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring. In the early nineteenth century, a windswept beach along the English coast brims with fossils for those with the eye! From the moment she's struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear Mary Anning is different. Her discovery of strange fossilized creatures in the cliffs of Lyme Regis sets the world alight. But Mary must face powerful prejudice from a male scientific establishment, not to mention vicious gossip and the heartbreak of forbidden love. Then -- in prickly, clever Elizabeth Philpot, a fossil-obsessed middle-class spinster -- she finds a champion, and a rival. Despite their differences in class and age, Mary and Elizabeth's loyalty and passion for the truth must win out. Remarkable Creatures is a stunning novel of how one woman's gift transcends class and gender to lead to some of the most important discoveries of the nineteenth century. Above all, it is a revealing portrait of the intricate and resilient nature of female friendship.


'A stunning story, compassionately reimagined'

'Chevalier recently stated that making fossils sexy was one of her chief aims in writing Remarkable Creatures. With this very entertaining book, she has certainly succeeded'
Daily Telegraph

'An enthralling novel of female friendship and fossil hunting'
Woman and Home

'Chevalier shows her skill for working history's lost individuals into far-reaching fiction'
Good Housekeeping

About the Author

Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is the author of six previous novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Virgin Blue, Falling Angels, The Lady and the Unicorn, Burning Bright and Remarkable Creatures. Born in Washington, DC, she moved to London in 1984, where she lives with her husband and son.

The film of Girl with a Pearl Earring, starring Colin Firth as Vermeer, was released in the UK in January. It was nominated for 10 BAFTAs and two Academy Awards.

Photograph © Eammon McCabe

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2010


Tracy Chevalier

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Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


352 pages


Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction



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