A novel based on the lives of Mary Anning (1799-1847), perhaps the greatest fossilist ever, and her friend Elizabeth Philpot, whose collection of fossil fish was donated to the Oxford University Museum. Although the book is a novel, it is peopled with some of the most well-known scientists and fossilists of the time: Henry De la Beche, William Buckland, William Conybeare, Georges Cuvier, and Charles Lyell.
From first to last, I found myself absorbed in the novel. Mary and Elizabeth's unlikely friendship and their unlikely occupations were so in contrast with the world they lived in, their obsession with fossils and paleontology, however, brightened their otherwise restricted lives.
I'm not saying the book is exactly a page-turner, but despite having little real plot, the characters and their interest in fossils delighted me.
Another excellent if short bibliography is included with this one. The book I'm most interested in is The Dragon Seekers: The Discovery of Dinosaurs During the Prelude to Darwin by Christopher McGowan. (republished with slightly different title)
Fiction. Historical fiction. 2010. 312 pages.