THE name Mary Anning is now known more widely than ever before.

A film based on the life of the Dorset fossil hunter has just had its terrestrial television premiere and a statue of the pioneer has stood proudly in Lyme since May 2022.

There is still the chance to see Ammonite on catch-up service BBC iPlayer until September 13.

The filming of Ammonite saw Hollywood stars shooting scenes in west Dorset.

The movie, which was partly filmed in Lyme Regis, was inspired by the life of famous fossil hunter and palaeontologist Mary Anning - with Oscar winner Kate Winslet taking on the role.

Winslet was seen in the seaside town in March 2019 filming scenes, attracting much interest from crowds.

The Rev Dr John Travell writes about the movie and how it relates to Annings' life in Lyme in the Dorset Yearbook 2022.

The main story in this film is an 'entirely ficticious' account of Mary in later life having a passionate lesbian relationship with Charlotte Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan in the movie.

The Rev Travell writes: "The film portrays Charlotte as being 20 years younger than Mary, whereas she was 11 years older.

"Charlotte and Roderick Murchison were friends of Mary Anning. They had first met in 1825 and they invited Mary to stay with them in London in 1829."

Little attention is paid in the film to Mary's early family and social life and scant regard is given to her religious connections, the Rev Travell writes.

He says the recent book, Jurassic Mary by Patricia Pierce, gives a fuller and proper account of her family and early life.

As a woman of lower social class with little formal education it was difficult for her to be taken seriously.

"Her remarkable achievements were often not given the proper acknowledgement and recognition that they deserved," the Rev Travell writes, mentioning that during her lifetime only one of Mary's finds was named after her. 

Mary died from breast cancer in 1847 and is buried in the grounds of St Mary's Church where her brother Joseph, church warden from 1844 to 1846, is also buried. 

And to the film Ammonite, the Rev Travell gives one last mention.

"You may wish to see it, but bear in mind it is almost entirely a work of cinematic fiction," he writes.