Lindsay, William 1956-

views updated

LINDSAY, William 1956-

PERSONAL: Born 1956.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Dorling Kindersley, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England.

CAREER: Writer.



The Great Dinosaur Atlas, illustrated by Giuliano Fornari, J. Messner (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1991, revised edition, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1999.

Barosaurus ("American Museum of Natural History" series), Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1992.

Tyrannosaurus ("American Museum of Natural History" series), Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1992.

Corythosaurus ("American Museum of Natural History" series), Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1993.

Triceratops ("American Museum of Natural History" series), Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1993.

Prehistoric Life ("Eyewitness Books" series), photographs by Harry Taylor, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Neil Clark) Dinosaurs, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1995.

On the Trail of Incredible Dinosaurs, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Neil Clark) One Thousand and One Facts aboutDinosaurs, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 2002.

Editorial consultant for Dinosaurs and Their World, by Steve Parker, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY) 1988, and Dinosaurs and How They Lived, by Steve Parker, Dorling Kindersley (New York, NY), 1991.

SIDELIGHTS: William Lindsay has written a number of books for young readers on the subject of prehistoric life, including his first, The Great Dinosaur Atlas. The volume lists dinosaurs by continent as well as alphabetically, and includes little-known information, such as the fact that the Atlascopcosaurus was named for the equipment used to excavate its bones. Ted Percy reviewed the work in Books for Keeps, commenting positively on Lindsay's use of human walkers and a cyclist to visually represent relative scale. Percy wrote that what is presented "is the image of dino-archaeology as a global million-piece jigsaw, painstakingly put together by a mixture of experience, intuition, luck, and sheer dedicated labour." New Scientist reviewer David Unwin noted that individual excavations are covered and that the focus is on anatomy and ecology. He concluded that of The Great Dinosaur Atlas that, "overall this is a cut above most popular works."

Booklist contributor Shelle Rosenfeld reviewed the book's revised edition, which retains the original illustrations and makes adjustments to the text, calling it "beautifully illustrated" and "incredibly detailed." The updated version contains a change in the information about the Yucatan meteorite that may have contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs, Rosenfeld noted, as well as facts regarding the Oviraptor that are based on new finds in the Gobi Desert.

Lindsay wrote four books for the "American Museum of Natural History" series titled Barosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Corythosaurus, and Triceratops. These large-format books include glossaries and illustrations of fossil preservations, archival photographs, photographs of skeletons, and details about how each dinosaur lived. They also include the names of museums where these and other dinosaurs are on exhibit and how the fossils were collected. Science Books and Films reviewer Peter Dodson noted that each book "is written on a formula, but it is a unique and very attractive formula."

At the time of the publication of Barosaurus in 1992, this fifty-foot tall giant was the subject of an exhibit at the museum. Lindsay's book includes photographs of the dig that uncovered his subject and explains the process of reconstruction through to the final mount. Janet Hamilton wrote in Appraisal that Lindsay "does a great job combining dinosaur information with information on how scientists work to learn more about the world. In this era of enormous dinosaur popularity, a book such as this one, with good text and exciting illustrations, is highly recommended."

The subject of Tyrannosaurus is probably the most commonly thought-of dinosaur: an eighteen-foot-high carnivore with viciously sharp, eight-inch teeth. On the other hand, the subject of Corythosaurus, while perhaps not as exciting, is no less intriguing. The remains of this plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur were found in 1914 in Canada's Red Deer River by Barnum Brown, who excavated them and took them by mule train to the museum. Lindsay's book includes photographs of the expedition and its very primitive camp. Percy reviewed the volume for Books for Keeps, noting that this inclusion, because of its rarity, is an important addition to the book. Percy felt that by focusing on one dinosaur species and one particular chapter in paleontology, Lindsay "has provided a characterful addition to the range of dinosaur books." The fourth book in the series, Triceratops, has as its subject the plant-eating dinosaur that was built like an armored tank and that sported elaborate headgear.

Prehistoric Life is one of fifty books in the "Eyewitness Books" series, and each of its double-page spreads presents a new topic in the history of evolution. Lindsay includes geological and archeological evidence in presenting his facts. School Library Journal reviewer Cathryn A. Camper found frustrating the fact that fossilized remains are shown without depicting what the creature would have looked like when it lived, but added that the book covers a great deal of territory, "from primordial slime to the apes that were our relatives." The book was described by Appraisal critic Frances Shea as "visually attractive and appealing, rather like a tour through a mini-museum."



American Scientist, November 1, 1993, Anthony R. Fiorillo, review of Tyrannosaurus, pp. 584-585; December 1, 1993, Anthony R. Fiorillo, reviews of Corythosaurus, Barosaurus, and Triceratops, pp. 584-585.

Appraisal, fall, 1993, Janet Hamilton, reviews of Barosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, pp. 37-38; spring-summer, 1995, Frances Shea and S. A. Hoffman, review of Prehistoric Life, pp. 65-66.

Booklist, December 1, 1993, Denia Hester, review of Triceratops, p. 688; February 15, 2000, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of The Great Dinosaur Atlas, pp. 1109-1110.

Books for Keeps, November, 1991, Ted Percy, review of The Great Dinosaur Atlas, p. 20; July, 1993, Ted Percy, review of Corythosaurus, p. 20.

Horn Book Guide, fall, 1994, Eric Hinsdale, review of Prehistoric Life, p. 352; spring, 1994, Barbara Marinak, reviews of Corythosaurus and Triceratops, p. 120; fall, 2000, Peter D. Sieruta, review of The Great Dinosaur Atlas, pp. 352-353.

Magpies, November, 1993, Kim Caraher, reviews of Tyrannosaurus and Barosaurus, p. 37.

New Scientist, November 30, 1991, David Unwin, review of The Great Dinosaur Atlas, p. 50.

New Statesman, December 4, 1998, Geoffrey Wheatcroft, review of On the Trail of Incredible Dinosaurs, p. 61.

Observer (London, England), July 24, 1994, Nicci Gerrard, review of Prehistoric Life, p. 18.

School Librarian, November, 1993, Ingrid Broomfield, review of Corythosaurus, p. 160.

School Library Journal, August, 1994, Cathryn A. Camper, review of Prehistoric Life, p. 164; March, 2000, Patricia Manning, review of The Great Dinosaur Atlas, p. 256.

Science Books and Films, March, 1994, Peter Dodson, reviews of Barosaurus, Corythosaurus, Triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus, pp. 46-47.

Times Educational Supplement, December 25, 1992, Robin McKie, reviews of Barosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, p. 19.*

About this article

Lindsay, William 1956-

Updated About content Print Article