I have let others- one in particular- tell my story for far too long. Now is the time to set the record straight, to sort out the humbug from the truth, and vice versa.
This portrait of “little person” Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump Stratton Magri, aka general Mrs. Tom Thumb, has depth and pathos, while immersing the reader in United States history. Vinnie is 2 feet 10 inches tall, a pituitary dwarf who is not content to stay at home in Middleborough, Massachusetts with her farming family. Recruited by an unprincipled carnival boss, Colonel Wood, she eventually winds up working with the fascinating P. T. Barnum, marrying General Tom Thumb, traveling the world, meeting royalty, and losing her beloved sister in a harrowing childbirth death scene. What elevates this title from a laundry list of interesting life events is Benjamin’s extraordinarily full character development. Vinnie is brilliant, determined, ruthless, loving, and fiercely protective of her little sister. P. T. Barnum is the ultimate showman, but he is also a man seeking an intellectual equal, and he finds that in Vinnie. Benjamin inserts newspaper articles, ads from magazines and other primary source documents in a series of “intermissions”, which take the reader deeper into Vinnie’s world. Meticulously researched, with an extensive bibliography, Benjamin has developed the facts of Vinnie’s life into a heartfelt, fascinating story.
Check the BPL catalog for this title: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb