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5.0 out of 5 stars Fossil Hunter
I found this a really readable book and full of interest about the life of Mary Anning. It is of special interest if you have visited Lyme Regis and their museum.
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. V. E. Hunt

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed
Ms Emling has undoubtedly carried out lengthy research into her book however the book is too full of subjective comments. The book tries to mix fact with fiction however the fiction part is too full of improvised comments or guess work i.e.constantly inferring what 'must have happened' to Mary, what she must have been thinking or what may have happened. I found it quite...
Published on 17 Nov 2009 by Martin Buckland


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed, 17 Nov 2009
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Ms Emling has undoubtedly carried out lengthy research into her book however the book is too full of subjective comments. The book tries to mix fact with fiction however the fiction part is too full of improvised comments or guess work i.e.constantly inferring what 'must have happened' to Mary, what she must have been thinking or what may have happened. I found it quite wearing. Bare in mind that the book is aimed at the American market. (Something I missed at purchase)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many errors!, 2 Mar 2010
I, too, missed the fact that this book was written by an American. I finished it only because I was interested in finding out more about Mary Anning. It is very disappointing to find that her research did not stretch as far as finding out that Dorset and Devon are not "boroughs" but counties! Or that it wasn't just people in Lyme who drank small beer because the water was undrinkable or that "small beer" was not strong beer watered down.
I appreciate that the American reader comes from a different cultural base than British readers, but this type of error serves only to perpetuate an inaccurate picture. The writing style is florid and repetitive. Lack of detail has been compensated for by conjecture - she would have been better to admit to ignorance. Her editor needs sacking!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!, 31 Dec 2011
This is probably the most badly-written, sloppily-edited popular science book I've ever read. To be fair, the author does warn us about what to expect: "I have taken a few liberties in an effort to fill the gaps in Mary's life but tried to make it clear when this was the case." She's not exaggerating - almost every paragraph contains the words "may have", "perhaps", "probably" etc. It's truly painful to read. And, as has also been pointed out, the book is full of inexcusably careless errors. Sorry, Shelley, you won't get a free pass from me just because you're American!

I eventually gave up after reading the following:

"By the late 1820s, diabolical beasts from the past were gripping the public's imagination like never before, with some wondering whether snaky bodies might still be alive, lurking beneath the leaden cloak of the sea...The image defied the sensibilities of many, with educated critics and even the humblest farmers unable to fathom such a thing as an Age of Reptiles...Even Mary probably sometimes wondered whether she might turn a corner on the Lyme Regis shore, only to catch a sudden glimpse of the bulging eyes of an ichthyosaur of the crushing teeth of a pterodactyl."

There's something equally cringe-worthy on almost every page. This sort of writing might pass muster with a vanity press, what how on earth did it get published by Macmillan?
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution etc, 30 Dec 2012
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I enjoyed this book, as it knitted together all the famous names of the time in relation to Mary's life. There was a little to much supposition of her emotions, but the research and facts used outweigh this. Generally enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fossil Hunter, 15 Dec 2012
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Mrs. V. E. Hunt (Dorset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World (Macmillan Science) (Paperback)
I found this a really readable book and full of interest about the life of Mary Anning. It is of special interest if you have visited Lyme Regis and their museum.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She sell sea-shells, 11 Mar 2010
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I think some reviews have been somewhat harsh; I have throughly enjoyed this book and it has encouraged me to search out more books on Mary Anning. Yes, an American writer often gets things 'wrong'; she mentions flooding - when Lyme Regis suffered from a dreadful storm - to first storey (English spelling here) level, whereas this would've drowned people on our 'ground' floor. American 'first storey' is our ground floor. And there is surmise along the way, but it adds verisimilitude and seldom is surmise presented as fact. What the book does is bring Mary's story to life. I have enjoyed it and recommend it to those who know nothing of Mary and her remarkable life; it might even encourage them, as it has me, to find out even more.

I would also add that the cover design is one of the most attractive and appropriate I have seen in a long time, so congratulations to cover design team.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fossil Hunter, 7 Dec 2009
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Angela Macaulay (Isle of Man, UK) - See all my reviews
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An excellent biography which made me, as soon as I got to London, rush off to the Natural History Museum to see her fossil finds. The Museum now devotes a whole room to Mary Anning! A heart-warming tale and an insight into the way in which such a brilliant woman can be ignored in spite of her knowledge and because of her gender. Highly reommended.
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