Today, I'm thrilled to be hosting a book blog tour stop for the incredible new book, "The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb," by Melanie Benjamin.
About The Book: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.
Melanie Benjamin has taken the bits of known history of one of the most fascinating female personalities in entertainment history, added in a captivating fictional narrative from the tiny lady herself, and delivers a gentle, loving, captivating story that takes readers into the heart of Lavinia Warren, aka Mrs. Tom Thumb.
There is little doubt, to me, that this novel is destined to be one of the best books of 2011. I highly recommend it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melanie Benjamin is a pseudonym for Melanie Hauser, the author of two contemporary novels. Her first work of historical fiction as Melanie Benjamin was Alice I Have Been. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb is her second release. She lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.
You can visit her online at http://www.melaniebenjamin.com/.
As a little girl, I was always fascinated with the circus and the history of the circus. When I was 13, my parents and I stumbled upon a tiny, hole-in-the-wall museum in San Antonio, Texas - and found ourselves in a world of magic - it was the Hertzburg Circus Collection and Museum, which at the time, housed the largest collection of books about circuses in the country. I remember that the exhibit that held my attention the most, out of all the wondrous items on display, was a tiny carriage that had once belonged to General and Mrs. Tom Thumb - it was a sight to behold. It was a thrill to find Melanie Benjamin describing the same carriage in this charming book.
Sadly, the Hertzburg Museum is now closed, due to the detrioration of the building, but the entire collection of books and exhibits have been moved to the Witte Museum, also in San Antonio, with plans for future exhibits.
My thanks to Cheryl at Pump Up Your Book Promotion for including me on this book blog tour. I received a copy of the book for review from the publisher, as well. I was not compensated for my opinion.
Here is my sweet friend Kathy Patrick, host of the "Beauty and The Book" show, interviewing Melanie Benjamin about "The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb."