Mary Anning of Lyme – review

Roy Nevitt writes:

I’ve just had the great pleasure of listening to Kevin Adams’
Mary Anning album – it’s a remarkable achievement. The folk music idiom serves the narrative as no other musical form could. It combines simplicity and clarity with melodic beauty and the instrumental variety is very pleasing.

The lyrics are poetry – they set the scene, tell the story, create the character and place her life in the context of history, science, gender politics, religion and, above all, in the location of Lyme Regis. They resonate with the great preoccupations of philosophy (time, space and the nature of our little planet within the universe); there’s a proper relish for the sounds of the words; some nice sardonic humour in the Bishop Ussher piece; a lovely humanity in the conceit of Mary’s father being present at her deathbed and coming alive again in her memories; and Kevin captures the rawness of the actual practice of collecting fossils in all weathers, alongside the keen excitement of discovery.

I think the album has great artistic and educational value.

Roy Nevitt is a documentary playwright, theatre director, co-founder of the Living Archive Milton Keynes, teacher and creator of community theatre.

Mary Anning of Lyme is available to stream or download from Bandcamp

Cover image of Mary Anning of Lyme