Review – Jurassic Mary

Cover of Jurassic Mary: Mary Anning and the Primeval Monsters by Patricia PierceJurassic Mary, Patricia Pierce

I couldn’t resist grabbing this when I came across it randomly in the library. I was hoping for more books on dinosaurs, but I’ll take a biography of an amazing female scientist any day. The unfortunate thing about Mary Anning is that she wasn’t treated as the professional she was. Or, rather, she was accepted as a professional fossil hunter, but she wasn’t given the recognition she deserved. And unfortunately, a lot of what we know about her is framed by the male geologists and scientists who relied on her.

Still, Patricia Pierce does a decent job of bringing Mary Anning to life and pointing out how amazing her achievements were, given her social context. I could do with less speculation about her romantic life, about which there appears to be not a shred of proof. Maybe she just wasn’t interested? But that didn’t take up too much space: it just struck me as falling into the trap of seeing Mary Anning the way her contemporaries would’ve, with too much emphasis on her being a ‘spinster’.

Rating: 3/5

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4 thoughts on “Review – Jurassic Mary

  1. About a year ago I stalled on a book called, I think, something like ‘The Dinosaur Hunters’ which began with the story of Mary Anning. Must ‘dig’ it out and finish it now!

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