The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Tom Thumb

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

International celebrity culture often feels like a very modern phenomenon, but the concept was not foreign to society in the 1860s, when there was one couple everybody wanted to meet: General Tom Thumb and his wife, Lavinia Warren. Both were famous because of their short stature — Lavinia was just 32 inches tall — and they toured the country as "curiosities." Their wedding in 1863 caused a national sensation that extended as far as the White House, where President Abraham Lincoln hosted a reception in their honor. Tom Thumb is now a household name, though most people have never heard of Lavinia. 

Melanie Benjamin is the author of "The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel," a new fictional work that tells the story of Lavinia and Tom Thumb.

Guests:

Melanie Benjamin

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer and Susie Warhurst

Comments [1]

Betty from Indianapolis

Thank you for having the author on your show, the book sounds fascinating!

Aug. 03 2011 08:01 AM

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