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Publisher's Summary

In her national best seller 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 19th 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.
©2011 Melanie Benjamin (P)2011 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Rupe on 08-17-11

Amazing

Like a curtain call we get to enjoy the superstar showpeople from 150 years ago. How the author came upon this character and brought her back to life is amazing.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Richard on 12-31-16

A Story of Courage

I enjoyed this book very much. It kept me interested over two nights of listening. I found myself wishing that I could have met her, Mrs. Tom Thumb. She was a feminist when the word "feminist" was not in our vocabulary. She died before women had the right to vote, but I believe if she had lived in modern times she would have made a great, Congresswoman or President of the United States. This is one book that never disappoints. A book to be shared.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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