An irresistible novel that “charts a harrowing tour through the Civil War” (Connecticut Post
) and chronicles the life of Tom Thumb—the tiny man who became, in his time, America’s most famous entertainer.
Tommy and John
The Irish famine of the late 1840’s was the worst peacetime disaster in the history of modern Europe. Between 1846 and 1849 more than one million people died. Another million emigrated—to England, to Australia, and, in greatest numbers, to America. They brought with them the politics of staying alive, invented by Daniel O’Connell, and the military…
“I was four years old when Barnum discovered me, and soon to turn five when I first appeared on the big stage of his American Museum.” So begins the story of Tom Thumb, who at just twenty-five-inches tall, rises to global fame as America’s most beloved entertainer. With his parents’ blessing, Tom comes of age in Barnum’s five-story gallery of oddities, exploring its mystical artifacts and exotic animals between his performances to sold-out crowds. One day in the museum’s basement menagerie, Tom meets a new performer, Lavinia Warren, who stands three inches shorter than he. It’s love at first sight, and Barnum quickly arranges the largest wedding reception New York City has ever seen. As cannon fire echoes across Bull Run and Antietam, both North and South are briefly united by their fascination with “General” Tom Thumb and his beautiful, petite wife.
Despite the Civil War, Tom and Lavinia embark on a honeymoon tour, where they encounter cities and people ravaged by the ongoing conflict. But as the tour winds down, an unexpected danger follows Tom and Lavinia back home.
Witty, lyrical, and with a colorful cast of notable figures of the period, The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb
is an evocative, poignant imagining of one man’s story, from a “master of elegant prose and psychological insight” (Entertainment Weekly