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Lyme Regis in Joanne Burn’s The Bone Hunters

  • Submitted: 8th May 2024

Lyme Regis in Joanne Burns The Bone Hunters

Where in the book?

Joanne Burns has put Lyme Regis firmly on the map. Where is it and why is it important I hear you ask? Well….

Map of locations in The Bone Hunters

where in the book?

Lyme Regis in The Bone Hunters

The Bone Hunters Joanne Burn

Map of locations in The Bone Hunters


Lyme Regis has more history than you could ever imagine. It’s best known for being the birthplace of Mary Anning, one of history’s most important fossil collectors and palaeontologists.

In The Bone Hunters, Joanne Burn has taken Mary Anning and  geologist William Smith to inspire her characters and the novel.

Mary Anning (c) Natural History Museum, London.

Mary Anning (c) Natural History Museum, London.

Map of locations in The Bone Hunters

Mary Anning

Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist. She became known around the world for the discoveries she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel at Lyme Regis

What she discovered contributed to changes in scientific thinking not just about prehistoric life but about the history of the Earth itself!

Mary was born in Lyme Regis in Dorset, England, on 21 May 1799.


“Lyme crowds a narrow combe, caught between hunched hills. In the shipyard to the west, beyond warehouses and timberyards, within spitting distance of  the customs house, amongst the clatter of mallets and hoarse insults from heckling throats, rocks are crushed for ballast.”

The Bone Hunters Joanne Burn

Map of locations in The Bone Hunters

The Bone Hunters

Joanne  Burns really brings this part of the world to life at a time where it was fascinating to visit and explore. This was a time where exciting discoveries were being made in science and Lyme Regis was at the forefront of many of them.

It’s a very atmospheric novel with lots to learn about the business of finding fossils and studying them. Fascinating stuff! Joanne really brings this world to life. What she does really well is to shine a light on female pioneers like her character Ada Winters who worked in a male dominated world.

Head to the Lyme Regis Museum, which is built on the site of her family’s home, to find out more


BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Bone Hunters


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