Read Jurassic Mary: Mary Anning And The Primeval Monsters by Patricia Pierce Free Online
Book Title: Jurassic Mary: Mary Anning And The Primeval Monsters|
The author of the book: Patricia Pierce
Edition: Sutton Publishing
Date of issue: April 20th 2006
ISBN 13: 9780750940399
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 4.8
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 699 KB
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Mary Anning (1799-1847) was one of the pioneers of the emerging science of geology - the first woman palaeontologist to make important discoveries. When she was just 12, she discovered the first whole ichthyosaurus skeleton; later, aged 22, she found the first whole skeleton of a plesiosaurus, and this find gained her international fame. She was unusual then - as she would be now - in being a woman geologist, and she was also a curiosity in being both provincial and lower class when science was dominated by upper class London gentlemen. During her lifetime she won the respect of contemporary scientists, receiving an annuity from the British Association for the Advancement of Science during the last decade of her life. Upon her death, Dickens wrote 'the carpenter's daughter has won a name for herself, and deserved to win it'. After her death, however, scientists wrote her out of their books, crediting instead the naturalists who had bought her specimens with her discoveries. It was inconceivable to them that an uneducated woman had produced such astonishing work. In this new book Patricia Pierce rescues the now little-known life of this extraordinary woman from undeserved obscurity to reveal her full and fascinating life
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Patricia (also Pat, P.M.) May Pierce (nee Culp), born 1943, was raised on a farm on Culp Road, Vineland, Ontario in the heart of Niagara's fruit lands. The family is descended from United Empire Loyalists, and from a young age she felt history all around her. Right next door was grandpa Joe Ed Culp, an amateur historian, who investigated local history. He also compiled a number of very detailed family trees, writing innumerable letters, while sitting at the kitchen table diligently bashing away on his antique typewriter.
With a knack for finding arrowheads in newly ploughed fields and orchards, it was easy for her to imagine the local native people hunting along the Twenty River and camping in nearby picturesque Jordan Hollow. On the family farm remains the huge old barn, built high for an earlier era (wheat) with a solid structure of massive tree trunks, some with the bark still on them. Parts of the barn are now listed as historic artifacts.
A graduate of The University of Waterloo, she joined the historic Ryerson Press in Toronto, Ontario. Ryerson was an old-style publishing house with presses and practices ranging from the Dickensian to the up-to-date. Older managers had been in the war together and avoided firing another veteran. It was not unheard of for a member of staff to retire after 60 years. The eccentricities of the authors - a poet with a bottle of wine might wander in before lunch for a relaxed chat - were often rivaled by those of the staff. The under-employed Advertising secretary might spend the day drawing up detailed astrological charts for colleagues followed by extensive discussion, that is, when she wan't studying electronic music. Yet in editorial meetings ideas for fine new books blossomed. (They were the first to publish Alice Munro in book form). It was all fascinating to a novice. Under one roof a successful book idea would appear and progress through all stages to printing, coming to rest in the attached warehouse. There, among the sky-high piles of books, the warehouse manager was constructing a sailboat. She was hooked on book publishing. This was wonderful. It was fun. But, of course, it had to end.
At this time Ryerson was taken over by super-efficient McGraw-Hill. The media and the public were enraged. The oldest publishing company in Canada could not be protected from a US takeover. (There was a change in the law as a result.)
It was time for a change. In 1973 came the first of 35 years in London, England, editing and writing books. With history and culture so densely to hand, and with the Continent so near, she traveled - on one adventure by motorcycle to Morocco (don't do it). She wrote and writes mainly on historical topics and the lives of the extraordinary people who make history. Her last in-house position in central London was as managing editor of a publishing house.
Patricia Pierce has returned to the Niagara Peninsula, writing and painting portraits - and still looking for arrowheads.
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