The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
In her national bestseller Alice I Have Been, Melanie Benjamin imagined the life of the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland. Now, in this jubilant new novel, Benjamin shines a dazzling spotlight on another fascinating female figure whose story has never fully been told: a woman who became a... show more
In her national bestseller Alice I Have Been, Melanie Benjamin imagined the life of the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland. Now, in this jubilant new novel, Benjamin shines a dazzling spotlight on another fascinating female figure whose story has never fully been told: a woman who became a nineteenth century icon and inspiration—and whose most daunting limitation became her greatest strength. “Never would I allow my size to define me. Instead, I would define it.” She was only two-foot eight-inches tall, but her legend reaches out to us more than a century later. As a child, Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump was encouraged to live a life hidden away from the public. Instead, she reached out to the immortal impresario P. T. Barnum, married the tiny superstar General Tom Thumb in the wedding of the century, and transformed into the world’s most unexpected celebrity.Here, in Vinnie’s singular and spirited voice, is her amazing adventure—from a showboat “freak” revue where she endured jeering mobs to her fateful meeting with the two men who would change her life: P. T. Barnum and Charles Stratton, AKA Tom Thumb. Their wedding would captivate the nation, preempt coverage of the Civil War, and usher them into the White House and the company of presidents and queens. But Vinnie’s fame would also endanger the person she prized most: her similarly-sized sister, Minnie, a gentle soul unable to escape the glare of Vinnie’s spotlight.A barnstorming novel of the Gilded Age, and of a woman’s public triumphs and personal tragedies, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb is the irresistible epic of a heroine who conquered the country with a heart as big as her dreams—and whose story will surely win over yours.
Publish date: July 26th 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages no: 424
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Adult Fiction
, Historical Fiction
, 19th Century
The novel is very episodic, following the life of Lavinia Bump in chronological order. It lacks suspense, going from one incident on to the next. The Victorianesque first-person narrator gets in her own way much of the time, interrupting conversations to add comments to the reader, most of which are...
A fictional biography of Lavinia Warren Bump,exhibited by P.T. Barnum and wife to Charles Stratton aka General Tom Thumb. Ends shortly after the death of Charles Stratton and does not include the last 30 or so years of her life. She is a little person who strives to be more than her size.I was surp...
Though Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump Stratton, better remembered as "Lavinia/Vinnie Warren" or "Mrs. Tom Thumb", was a diminutive woman, she had a huge personality and dreams that could not be contained in her thirty-two inches of height. Though not always likable or even particularly kind, Vinnie refus...
A book about an arrogant woman who is very selfish in her attempt to gain fame and happiness. I just couldn't like Vinnie, she is not a sympathetic character. I would have been more interested if PT Barnum or Charles Stratton were the narrator.
I waited a while to write this review but not because I didn’t like the book. Oh it is very the opposite of that. I want to gush over this book so badly I do not have the words to make it sound how good it is.The author Melanie Benjamin has a knack for delving into the world of true history and b...