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Jane Austen News – Issue 155

The Jane Austen News sees Statue scrapped

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Ammonite Arrives in Lyme Regis  

Jane Austen’s Sanditon isn’t the only Period drama being filmed this year that we’re looking forward to. A new film called Ammonite is another film in progress that we’re keen to see.

As well as Jane Austen, if you’ve read about some of the other marvellous women from the Georgian and Regency eras, you’ll certainly have heard of Mary Anning. Anning is renowned for her discoveries of Jurassic fossils around Lyme Regis, Dorset, and in 2010 she was named as one of the Royal Society’s ten most influential British women in science. Although her work, including the unearthing in around 1811 of a 17-foot ichthyosaur skeleton when she was just 12, went largely uncredited in her lifetime because she was a woman (and a very young woman too), now her life will come to the silver screen in a new Period film.

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan are to star in the film, named AmmoniteAmmonite, will be set in a British coastal town in the 1840s and is understood to follow Anning as she becomes the nursemaid for a wealthy woman from London who visits for a period of convalescence. Ammonite is been developed by See-Saw Films, the British Film Institute and BBC Films, and filming is set to start in March in Lyme Regis.

There are no pictures of the film in progress yet, as filming is yet to commence, but when it does start there’ll be quite the sight to see as the filming crew want to build a two-storey fake Georgian house front and install a fake stone wall to help take Lyme back to the 1840s.

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Mary Anning: Regency Paleontologist

Mary Anning: Regency Paleontologist “[T]he carpenter’s daughter has won a name for herself, and has deserved to win it.” -Charles Dickens February, 1865 Mary with her dog, Tray, painted before 1842, the Golden Cap outcrop can be seen in the background Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was a British fossil collector, dealer, and paleontologist who became known around the world for a number of important finds she made in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis in Dorset, where she lived. Her work contributed to fundamental changes that occurred during her lifetime in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth. Anning searched for fossils in the area’s Blue Lias cliffs, particularly during the winter months when landslides exposed new fossils that had to be collected quickly before they were lost to the sea. It was dangerous work, and she nearly lost her life in 1833 during a landslide that killed her dog, Tray. Her discoveries included the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified, which she and her brother Joseph found when she was just twelve years old; the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and some important fish fossils. Her observations played a key role in the discovery that coprolites, known as bezoar stones at the time, were fossilised faeces. She also discovered that belemnite fossils contained fossilised ink sacs like those of modern cephalopods. When geologist Henry De la Beche painted Duria Antiquior, the first (more…)
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