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Crystal Palace Dinosaurs


Price: £12.95


by Steven McCarthy

When Queen Victoria opened the Crystal Palace at Sydenham on 10th June 1854, she also changed the course of popular science. For in the grounds of Sir Joseph Paxton's magnificent glass and iron "Palace of the People" stood a unique experiment. For the first time anywhere in the world, an attempt had been made to create, at life-size, representations of prehistoric "monsters" which had roamed the earth millions of years before man. The impact of the display was immense. For the first time - but not the last - "Dinomania'" gripped the public imagination.

Today these great stone and iron models, one of the few remaining elements of the original design for Crystal Palace Park, survive to represent a unique picture, frozen in time, of the state of palaeontology in mid-Victorian England. Despite their worldwide fame, however, the story of the building of the models and the men behind them has never before been told in full.

"The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs" details the background to the sculptures, the story of their creation, their immediate impact and lasting influence, as well as providing a comparison between them and modern day thinking about the appearance in life of those animals featured. This highly readable book has become the standard reference piece on the sculptures and reveals many new and fascinating details about them.

It has been reprinted by us in the same style and format but is even more lavishly illustrated. All the images have been rescanned and digitally enhanced and there are more colour pages and well over 200 other illustrations, most of which have never before appeared in print.

The prehistoric animal sculptures in Crystal Palace Park represent a unique picture of the state of palaeontology in mid-Victorian England.

"The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs" tells the story of these remarkable stone and plaster animals, their construction and their impact.

They were constructed in 1854 by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and are nationally listed Grade 1.

100 pages paperback 237 illustrations 11 of which are in full colour

Also available from:
- Bookseller Crow, Westow Street, London, SE19 
- The Friends of Crystal Palace Park at the Crystal Palace Park Information Centre, near the Penge entrance
- Horsham Visitor Information Centre, 9 Causeway, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1HE