A Natural History of Dragons : A Memoir by Lady Trent Paperback
Everyone knows Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, prospects, and her life to satisfy scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the mountains of Vystrana, where she made discoveries that would change the world.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 14/02/2014
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9781783292394
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Review by wyvernfriend
An alternative history in a land that closely resembles Britain (and why bother create a new pseudo-britain when you already have a perfectly good for purpose one there?) in the Victorian era. Lady Trent writes an autobiography of her time with science. Growing up in a time where girls didn't do science in any meaningful way, society stymies her natural curiousity and mental abilities. She fights against it until an unthinking moment causes death to someone else. Then she concentrates on being a dutiful daughter, destroying most of her science. She finds a husband who respects her scientific curiousity and wangles a way to get him on an expedition to investigate dragons, and expedition that will change her life.Yes she's stupid about some things, yes her classism and racism are rampant, yes, killing specimens for examination is fraught with issues and if she had been victorian some of that would have been logical, but the background is assumed but not obvious. Robin McKinley does better with her analogues in her Blue Sword book.It's an interesting story, sometimes felt a little bit strained, but overall kept me reading and wanting to know what happens next. The end felt a bit rushed but overall I enjoyed it and want to read on in the series. The cover is beautiful and the interior drawings add so much to the story.