Book-Traveling Thursdays is a weekly feature in which the blogger discusses a book related to the chosen theme for the week and examines the various covers of that book. The Oscars are this Sunday, so this week’s theme is a book that you would like to see as a movie.
I honestly am not much of a movie-viewer. I usually see only one or two movies a year, whether in the theatre or at home. It’s not that I don’t enjoy films — watching Alfred Hitchcock as a child gave me a love for cinematography and all its clever tricks — I just possess what you might call a “nervous energy,” and doing nothing but sitting for hours on end is unbearable to me. I’m the person who arrives 30 minutes early simply because I was already ready to leave and didn’t want to sit around waiting. I tell myself that when I’m older and I can appreciate “just sitting,” I’ll watch all the films I’ve been longing to see for many years.
Those few movies I do see each year are ones that I’m really thrilled to see, ones that I’ve been anticipating for months, and often they’re inspired by or adapted from video games and books. I find it thrilling to see the way others have imagined the universe!
A book I would absolutely love to see brought to life is A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan.
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
A Natural History of Dragons begins a series of “memoirs” by Isabella Camherst, Lady of Trent, a wealthy woman in the Victorian-esque nation of Scirland who shuns the repressive society into which she’s born and instead becomes the first female natural historian in her world, and the first person to recognize the study of dragons as its own scientific field. In her pursuit of knowledge, Lady Trent studies these beautiful but dangerous creatures in their natural habitats in an age when field research of dragons is almost unheard of and field research done by a woman unconscionable. She is a fiery, unapologetically female Indiana Jones relaying the adventures of her youth in her memoirs, and the adaptation would be a heart-pounding adventure/fantasy/period film. It would be fantastic! You can read my review of this wonderful book here.
A Natural History of Dragons was only published in 2013, so it is still on its first cover, but I am still so fond of it! It is one of Isabella Camherst’s anatomical drawings that are also littered throughout the book, and the illustration continues around to the back of the book.
Featured Image: “Mythical Creature Dragon” by Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch (1806)