Remarkable Creatures
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Globe and Mail (Toronto), 22 March 2010
“...an engaging, vividly recreated fictional account of real-life 19th-century amateur scientists Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two doughty women surrounded by fossils – and not just of a reptilian kind.”
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Chicago Tribune, 14 February 2010
“With this intriguing story, Chevalier convincingly creates a past time and place and gives a nod to two forgotten women who made some of the most important discoveries of the 19th century.”
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San Francisco Chronicle, 7 February 2010
“The author admirably weaves historical figures and actual events into a compelling narrative. We care for these two headstrong women as they defy, sometimes unwittingly by just being themselves, the conventions of their day.”
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New York Times, 2 February 2010
“Ms. Chevalier focuses on Anning’s early life and her relationship with another historic figure, Elizabeth Philpot, vividly imagining the former’s inner life.”
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Los Angeles Times, 22 January 2010
“...an engrossing, ultimately illuminating story of women finding fulfillment in shared passions and the bonds of friendship.”
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The Washington Post, 13 January 2010
"...Chevalier has sunk into a fertile historical moment to examine the way a
smart but untrained young woman interacts with overconfident, dismissive
men."
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The Plain Dealer (Cleveland OH), 4 January 2010
"...this is an eminently readable book. It gives us the minutiae of everyday
life and an evocative, almost visceral response to the visual world."
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Sunday Times (UK) 13 September 2009
"...thoroughly absorbing historical novel... Chevalier has taken the true histories of Anning and Philpot and fashioned from them a moving story of the resilience of an unusual female friendship and of ground shifting beneath people's feet as new discoveries force them to look at the world with fresh eyes."
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Independent (Ireland) 5 September 2009
"In an age when the theory of evolution is taken for granted by educated people, Chevalier manages to convey how genuinely challenging these ideas were when they first appeared. That she does this in such an entertaining book is impressive."
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The Financial Times (UK) 31 August 2009
"Chevalier excavates her two main characters with great confidence and wit. These women, neither of whom I had heard of before, become vivid and engrossing. Like a fossil hunter herself, Chevalier has again combed the beaches of history for subject matter and created an engaging story for the modern reader."
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The Guardian (UK) 29 August 2009
"It is a stunning story, compassionately reimagined. ... The ways in which Mary and Elizabeth regard each other over the years allows the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring to do what she excels at: reveal slowly, in meticulous period detail, not one but two women being looked at."
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The Telegraph (UK) 24 August 2009
"Tracy Chevalier’s sixth novel, Remarkable Creatures, is a book of impressive scope. It is not just the story of this young fossil hunter and her rise from indigence and anonymity to renown, but also of how her discoveries were to revolutionise the way people thought about the origins of the world. It is not merely a triumphant tale of female adventure, but a moving reflection on how much intellectual pursuit may cost women in terms of romantic happiness. And in its depiction of the relationship between Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, an educated woman living nearby who also hunted fossils, it is also a celebration of female friendship."
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