Imagine, for a moment, an evolutionary biologist hiding in the shrubbery outside Jane Austen’s country house and taking notes during the matchmaking.
That’s one way of looking at the second novel by Winnipeg’s Joan Thomas, author of the Commonwealth First Book prize for her 2008 debut, Reading by Lightning.
Thomas’s new novel, Curiosity, is a precise reconstruction of the social and intellectual world of early 19th-century England, which provides both a fascinating view of the early origins of the theory of evolution and a new way of looking at the Regency-era social novel.
Curiosity is based on the real-life story of Mary Anning, a lower-class woman of first-class intelligence whose discoveries in the fossil cliffs around the Dorsetshire town of Lyme Regis helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin a generation later.
But it’s more than just a story of unrecognized genius.
Read the complete book review at the Winnipeg Free Press
J.C. Sutcliffe reviews the same book at The Globe and Mail
Visit the authors website for more reviews and information on the soon to be released book.