For learning. For inspiration. For plain speaking.
King George III (1760-1820) to Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Mary Anning (1) : A twelve-year-old girl from Lyme Regis made a historic discovery while selling seashells to tourists.
Mary Anning
Part one

With acknowledgements to ‘All the Year Round’ (November 1865), edited by Charles Dickens.

Around the time that the fictional Anne Elliot paid a visit to Lyme Regis in Jane Austen’s novel ‘Persuasion’, in real life a young girl named Mary Anning was chipping away at the nearby cliffs, and had already entered the history books.

IN 1811, twelve-year-old Mary Anning pieced together a fossilised skeleton from the limestone cliffs of Lyme Regis in Dorset. It was very different from the usual ammonite and belemnite shells that she and her brother sold to tourists, and it netted them £23, a welcome windfall following the death of their father Richard the previous year.

The specimen was subsequently called Ichthyosaurus, the first of its kind to be discovered. In 1823, Mary also unearthed the world’s first complete Plesiosaurus, and in 1828 she found Britain’s first Pterosaurus – or ‘flying dragon’, as the British Museum whimsically labelled it on display.

Academic institutions cold-shouldered Mary, though not the specimens she sold to them, bracketing her with the quarrymen who often supplied fossils to professional scientists. But the self-taught Mary’s finds came with anatomical drawings and ready-made classifications, really good ones; even eminent French anatomist George Cuvier had to eat his words after criticising her reconstruction of Plesiosaurus.

With acknowledgements to ‘All the Year Round’ (November 1865), edited by Charles Dickens.

More like this

Discovery and Invention (66) Science and Scientists (18) Dinosaurs (1) Enterprise in Education (8) Georgian Era (111) History (406)

Picture: Via Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
On 26th December, 1823, Mary Anning sent a letter with this hand-drawn sketch of a fossil skeleton she had pieced together, confirming the world’s first discovery of Plesiosaurus. It required an instinctive as well as an encyclopaedic knowledge of anatomy to identify, retrieve and arrange fossil remains in this way.
Mary Anning Part Two

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Elfric of Eynsham
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
King Philip V of Spain sent a second Spanish Armada against Britain, but it suffered much the same fate as the first.
By Saint Bede of Jarrow
St Bede explains how the Exodus and the Ten Commandments are related to Easter and Whitsuntide.
A year after the infamous ‘Black hole of Calcutta’, Robert Clive was sent to exact retribution.
England’s rulers from the only one named ‘the Great’, to the king who lost his crown to the Danes.
A warning not to be forgetful of others, even in triumph.