HomeCommunity ContentScience SundaysReaders’ Circle – Time to discuss “Remarkable Creatures” by Tracy Chevalier
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Linda Thieman

Firsties! I’m here and ready to go.

Linda Thieman

Overall, it was an interesting story and I could not put the book down. I’ve read very few other books set in Regency England that actually acknowledged the lower classes–only one or two, actually. So that was kind of an interesting experience. It seemed to be kind of a handicap for Mary Anning to be raised so low and to be so young that she did not understand the societal distinctions between behavior and decorum in her own class and in the higher classes. And, truth be told, this is the first time I’ve ever heard the term “middle class” used in a Regency Era novel. Anybody know what is up with that?


Thanks for keeping this up. I’ve got another commitment, but was able to hop over here. Always thought archaeology would be an awesome profession, but yes, you’d need someone to care for family to really get the most out of it.

Didn’t read it, so am just soaking up the flavor through you all. :O)


After a slow start, I really enjoyed the book. Yes it’s a depressing and at times boring read but I thought that it worked nevertheless. The lives of women were often depressing, monotonous and constrained and I felt Chevalier managed to make it interesting in a way. I liked thinking about the lives of women at that time and I didn’t realize that upper class women needed to be accompanied while out and about in London.

Also, I have been reading posts here but not logging in as we are gearing up for our home school year and I have forms to submit and curriculum to solidify. Every year at this time I go a little batty as I sift through home school resources online. There are a terrifying number of creationists out there.

Reading this book was balm to my brain because it’s set at the time of discovery and changing thought that lead to an understanding of evolution. I just want the creationist folks to come clean and worship the Archbishop of Ussher already and be done with it. The lengths many in the home school community go to avoid exposing their children to the understanding of evolution is mind boggling and always gets my dander up.

That said, I think the weakest writing in the book centered around Elizabeth Philpot’s struggles with the Church’s teachings and her musing about the age of the earth. That’s where it feel flat for me. It felt as if the author was trying too hard at those moments.

Sorry to be so late to the conversation… My next read coming in from the library is Zealot by Reza Aslan.
We will be studying Ancient History this year and I like to read topical books throughout the year to help keep me inspired.

Linda Thieman

I think I have to agree with you on the birth of the evolutionists. It was interesting in that it exposed the struggle to think independently that was going on at the time, but it did rather fall flat. And yet I liked the way Elizabeth would not just shut up and accept what she was told when there was so much proof to the contrary. Reminds me of what we, the progressives, are going through today.


I read this book four or five years ago for a long-running friends book club that I am a part of. I did like the book and found it quite interesting about the general time period (especially women’s roles) and the specific scientific fossil hunting aspect. However, I thought it did veer down the historical romance path a little too far for my taste, introducing a romantic rivalry between the two women that I really saw no need for.

Linda Thieman

Yes, I have to agree, although since it is based on a true story, the author may not have wanted to tamper with it. But it did drive me crazy that the whole book was these women trying to deal with their depressing fate of having no man to care for them and resigning themselves to spinsterhood, but the minute any man paid attention to them. they were all romantic girls again.

Linda Thieman

Found this great story about the discovery of a new whale in natgeo. Thought this book club might be interested in it.


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