Thursday, 6 December 2012

Advent Heroine Day Six - Mary Anning

I've chosen Mary Anning for my advent heroine. She had a life that would make a perfect historical saga full of adventure. She also demonstrates the kind of historical heroine we, as writers, should be trying to create. A woman of her time and yet with characteristics such as courage, determination and intelligence that readers today can identify with and root for throughout the story.

Mary was born into extreme poverty in Dorset in the 1800s. She and her brother were the only survivors out of ten children born into the family. She was once struck by lightning which killed her sister. Despite having a very low level of education, Mary taught herself to read and became knowledgeable in the fields of geology and paleontology.

To supplement the family's meagre income, she became a fossil hunter along the beaches at Lyme Regis and gradually made scientific discoveries especially marine reptiles. Eminent scientists of the day visited her and also the fashionable crowd. She died aged only 47 but had lived an amazing life.


  1. I remember seeing the exhibit on her in the Natural History Museum. She was quite a lady! Chrissie

  2. Mary Anning is a new name to us so it's very interesting to read about her. She certainly seems to have been before her time. Thanks for sharing her.

  3. I've never heard of Mary Anning, but she sounds like a wonderful woman. It's always nice to learn about new people.