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Discovering Dorothea
Discovering Dorothea

Discovering Dorothea

The Life of the Pioneering Fossil-Hunter Dorothea Bate


160 Pages, 7 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: October 2017

ISBN 9780565094379

Rights: US & CA

Natural History Museum, London (Oct 2017)

Price: $14.95


This vivid and engaging biography reveals not only a unique and indomitable woman, but also the expanding world of archaeology in the first half of the 20th century

In 1898, a 19-year-old girl marched into the Natural History Museum and demanded a job. At the time, no women were employed there as scientists, but for the determined Dorothea Bate this was the first step in an extraordinary career as a pioneering explorer and fossil-hunter and the beginning of an association with the Museum that was to last for more than 50 years. As a young woman she explored the islands of Cyprus, Crete and the little known Majorca and Menorca, braving parental opposition and considerable physical hardship and danger. In remote mountain caves and sea-battered cliffs, she discovered, against enormous odds, the fossil evidence of unique species of extinct fauna, previously unknown to science, including dwarf elephants and hippos, giant dormice and a strange small goat-like antelope. Internationally respected as an outstanding palaeontologist during her lifetime, Dorothea was largely forgotten after her death. Now, working from unpublished letters, papers and work diaries and re-tracing her steps, Karolyn Shindler has rediscovered Dorothea's life.


"Shindler's excellent book serves to illuminate not only the travails of fieldwork a century ago, but also the problems faced by women seeking to carve out their own intellectual space. . . . A compelling read." —Richard Fortey, author, Earth: An Intimate History

Author Biography

Karolyn Shindler is a former producer and editor at the BBC. She also worked as a political consultant to BBC World Service, and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.