Remarkable Creatures

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Remarkable Creatures

Remarkable Creatures

  • Author : Tracy Chevalier
  • ISBN : 9780007311170
  • Category : Fiction
  • Publisher : HarperCollins UK
  • Pages : 352
  • Release Date : 2009

Mary Anning, born in a poor family, lived in Lyme Regis and from an early age was fascinated by the fossils, then called snake stones and devil's toenails, that could then be picked up on the beaches. She became far more interested when she realised that these could be sold to the gentry who had grown into avid collectors. She was supported by her family in her enterprise but was often ripped off by the buyers and derided by the scientists. One person came to her rescue: Elizabeth Philpot, daughter of a wealthy family who had settled in Dorset to escape the stultifying respectability of genteel London society. The two women, of different ages and very different class and background, became unlikely friends but the relationship was to take on stranger twists as the excitement of the fossil discoveries - Mary Anning finds the first complete plesiosaur - turns to religious difficulties as the importance of these finds begins to spread.

‘It is a stunning story, compassionately reimagined’ Guardian Tracy Chevalier’s 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. A revealing portrait of the intricate and resilient nature of female friendship.

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National Book Award Finalist: A biologist’s “thoroughly enjoyable” account of the expeditions that unearthed the history of life on our planet (Publishers Weekly). Not so long ago, most of our world was an unexplored wilderness. Our sense of its age was vague and vastly off the mark, and much of the knowledge of our own species’ history was a set of fantastic myths and fairy tales. But scientists were about to embark on an amazing new era of understanding. From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Big Picture, this book leads us on a rousing voyage that recounts the most important discoveries in two centuries of natural history: from Darwin’s trip around the world to Charles Walcott’s discovery of pre-Cambrian life in the Grand Canyon; from Louis and Mary Leakey’s investigation of our deepest past in East Africa to the trailblazers in modern laboratories who have located a time clock in our DNA. Filled with the same sense of adventure that spurred on these extraordinary men and women, Remarkable Creatures is a “stirring introduction to the wonder of evolutionary biology” (Kirkus Reviews). “Charming and enlightening.” —San Francisco Chronicle “As fast-paced as a detective story.” —Nature

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From the New York Times bestselling novelist, a stunning historical novel that follows the story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two extraordinary 19th century fossil hunters who changed the scientific world forever. On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary learns that she has a unique gift: "the eye" to spot ammonites and other 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, 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. From the author of At the Edge of the Orchard and Girl With a Pearl Earring comes this incredible story of two remarkable women and their voyage of discovery.

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An enthralling account of a modern voyage of discovery as we meet the clever, social birds of prey called caracaras, which puzzled Darwin, fascinate modern-day falconers, and carry secrets of our planet's deep past in their family history. 'Captivating ... full of insights into not only our planet's evolutionary past but also its future' *****Mail on Sunday In 1833, Charles Darwin was astonished by an animal he met in the Falkland Islands: handsome, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that were tame and inquisitive, quarrelsome and passionate, and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and other valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin wondered why these birds were confined to remote islands at the tip of South America, sensing a larger story, but he set this mystery aside and never returned to it. Almost two hundred years later, Jonathan Meiburg takes up this chase. He takes us through South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana, in search of these birds: striated caracaras, which still exist, though they're very rare. He reveals the wild, fascinating story of their history, origins, and possible futures. And along the way, he draws us into the life and work of William Henry Hudson, the Victorian writer and naturalist who championed caracaras as an unsung wonder of the natural world, and to falconry parks in the English countryside, where captive caracaras perform incredible feats of memory and problem-solving. A Most Remarkable Creature is a hybrid of science writing, travelogue, and biography, as generous and accessible as it is sophisticated. It is much more than a book about birds: it's a journey to uncover moments of first contact between science and religion, and humans and animals.

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At a time when women were excluded from science, a young girl made a discovery that marked the birth of paleontology and continues to feed the debate about evolution to this day. Mary Anning was only twelve years old when, in 1811, she discovered the first dinosaur skeleton--of an ichthyosaur--while fossil hunting on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England. Until Mary's incredible discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct. The child of a poor family, Mary became a fossil hunter, inspiring the tongue-twister, "She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore." She attracted the attention of fossil collectors and eventually the scientific world. Once news of the fossils reached the halls of academia, it became impossible to ignore the truth. Mary's peculiar finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, laid out in his On the Origin of Species. Darwin drew on Mary's fossilized creatures as irrefutable evidence that life in the past was nothing like life in the present. A story worthy of Dickens, The Fossil Hunter chronicles the life of this young girl, with dirt under her fingernails and not a shilling to buy dinner, who became a world-renowned paleontologist. Dickens himself said of Mary: "The carpenter's daughter has won a name for herself, and deserved to win it." Here at last, Shelley Emling returns Mary Anning, of whom Stephen J. Gould remarked, is "probably the most important unsung (or inadequately sung) collecting force in the history of paleontology," to her deserved place in history.

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A New York Times bestseller From the author of the international bestseller Girl With A Pearl Earring and At the Edge of the Orchard, Tracy Chevalier once again paints a distant age with a rich and provocative palette of characters. Falling Angels follows the fortunes of two families in the emerging years of the twentieth century in England, while the Queen's death reverberates through a changing nation. Told through a variety of shifting perspectives—wives and husbands, friends and lovers, masters and their servants, and a gravedigger's son—Falling Angels is graced with the luminous imagery that distinguished Girl With a Pearl Earring, Falling Angels is another dazzling tour de force from this "master of voices" (The New York Times Book Review).

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Paris, 1890. When Sherlock Holmes finds himself chasing an art dealer through the streets of Paris, he’s certain he’s smoked out one of the principals of a cunning forgery ring responsible for the theft of some of the Louvre’s greatest masterpieces. But for once, Holmes is dead wrong. He doesn’t know that the dealer, Theo Van Gogh, is rushing to the side of his brother, who lies dying of a gunshot wound in Auvers. He doesn’t know that the dealer’s brother is a penniless misfit artist named Vincent, known to few and mourned by even fewer. Officialdom pronounces the death a suicide, but a few minutes at the scene convinces Holmes it was murder. And he’s bulldog-determined to discover why a penniless painter who harmed no one had to be killed–and who killed him. Who could profit from Vincent’s death? How is the murder entwined with his own forgery investigation? Holmes must retrace the last months of Vincent’s life, testing his mettle against men like the brutal Paul Gauguin and the secretive Toulouse-Lautrec, all the while searching for the girl Olympia, whom Vincent named with his dying breath. She can provide the truth, but can anyone provide the proof? From the madhouse of St. Remy to the rooftops of Paris, Holmes hunts a killer—while the killer hunts him.

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Three of Tracy Chevalier’s highly acclaimed novels, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, REMARKABLE CREATURES and FALLING ANGELS packaged together in one eBook for the first time.

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What exactly is goodness? Where is it found in the literary imagination? Toni Morrison, one of American letters’ greatest voices, pondered these perplexing questions in her celebrated Ingersoll Lecture, delivered at Harvard University in 2012 and published now for the first time. Perhaps because it is overshadowed by the more easily defined evil, goodness often escapes our attention. Recalling many literary examples, from Ahab to Coetzee’s Michael K, Morrison seeks the essence of goodness and ponders its significant place in her writing. She considers the concept in relation to unforgettable characters from her own works of fiction and arrives at conclusions that are both eloquent and edifying. In a lively interview conducted for this book, Morrison further elaborates on her lecture’s ideas, discussing goodness not only in literature but in society and history—particularly black history, which has responded to centuries of brutality with profound creativity. Morrison’s essay is followed by a series of responses by scholars in the fields of religion, ethics, history, and literature to her thoughts on goodness and evil, mercy and love, racism and self-destruction, language and liberation, together with close examination of literary and theoretical expressions from her works. Each of these contributions, written by a scholar of religion, considers the legacy of slavery and how it continues to shape our memories, our complicities, our outcries, our lives, our communities, our literature, and our faith. In addition, the contributors engage the religious orientation in Morrison’s novels so that readers who encounter her many memorable characters such as Sula, Beloved, or Frank Money will learn and appreciate how Morrison’s notions of goodness and mercy also reflect her understanding of the sacred and the human spirit.

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Marked for greatness after being struck by lightning in infancy, Mary Anning discovers a fossilized skeleton near her 19th-century home that triggers attacks on her character and upheavals throughout the religious, scientific and academic communities. By the best-selling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

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In the air, on the ground, and in the water, incredible tiny creatures are all around us! They may be small, but they live remarkable lives. The Book of Tiny Creatures introduces young learners to spiders, butterflies, worms, snails, and even the world's heaviest insect, the Little Barrier Island giant weta. This fun-filled book teaches children fascinating facts through interactive quizzes, detailed seek-and-find scenes, and hands-on activities, like how to make a snail terrarium. A great first STEM read, The Book of Tiny Creatures reveals the wonder of how these creatures grow, reproduce, form communities, and more.

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New York Times bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring and At the Edge of the Orchard Tracy Chevalier makes her first fictional foray into the American past in The Last Runaway, bringing to life the Underground Railroad and illuminating the principles, passions and realities that fueled this extraordinary freedom movement. Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker, moves to Ohio in 1850--only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape. Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality. However, Honor is drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network helping runaway slaves escape to freedom, where she befriends two surprising women who embody the remarkable power of defiance. Eventually she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal costs.

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Discusses why the jellyfish population has exploded in recent years and why their dominance is indicative of a declining ocean ecosystem.

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