Notable quotable on dragons from a meeting between the inventor of the word Dinosaur and the Englishman who has most Dinosaurs named after him. The following is from Lady Tennyson (wife of UK poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson) who records in her diary a visit by Professor Richard Owen with William Fox on the Isle of Wight as follows:
“Professor Owen arrived. A. and Professor Owen enjoyed their trip [to Brighstone] and returned in high spirits. They spread out their luncheon on Mr. Foxe’s lawn; they looked at the great dragon which is quite new to the world and quite answers expectations. He never saw one so sheathed in armour and thought of calling it Euacanthus Vectianus. Most interesting he was.”
Excerpt from: Alfred and Emily Tennyson: A Marriage of True Minds. A Centenary Celebration (Page 38), by Richard J. Hutchings, Isle of Wight County Press, 1991, Newport, Isle of Wight, England.
Editorial Comment: Richard Owen was the world’s leading expert on fossil bones at the time, and he founded the British Museum of Natural History. He invented the word ‘Dinosauria’ to describe the first three dinosaurs to be discovered Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus. He went fossil hunting on the Island of Wight and named a dinosaur Polacanthus foxii, after his friend William Fox, who lived on the island.
Fox collected a vast number of dinosaur specimens, and has more dinosaurs named after him than any other Englishman. His collection is now in the Natural History Museum. Fox was a clergyman who became curate of the village of Brighstone in 1862, and although he was unable to retain a permanent position there, he remained on the island until his death in 1881. He was a devoted fossil collector and wrote to his friend Owen saying: “I cannot leave this place while I have any money left to live on, I take such deep joy in hunting for old dragons.”
(Ref. history, dinosaurs, British Isles)
Evidence News 27 Oct 2010