Tom Thumb – for real?

Cover of The autobiography of Mrs Tom Thumb
The autobiography of Mrs Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin

I have to say I was a little intrigued when I saw the title:  The autobiography of Mrs Tom Thumb: a novel.  Was there really a Tom Thumb, let alone a Mrs Tom Thumb?  Apparently there was-  and he even had the title general bestowed on him.

This year two novels and a children’s non-fiction book have been written about either Tom Thumb or his wife.

It is written from the point of view of Mrs Tom Thumb (aka Lavinia Warren) and is a fascinating and believable account of her life and times, which take her around the United States and then the globe. It is even a love story of sorts. All this and she was only 32 inches (82 cm) tall.

If,  like me, your interest in this diminutive couple has been tickled,  you can look up some of the historical newspapers in The Source and see actual articles of the Thumb’s exhibiting around the world.  You’ll need a library card and PIN to access these sites and it’s best to search under General Tom Thumb (aka Charles Stratton).

So are there any novels you’ve read that reinforce the old age adage – Truth is stranger than fiction  (so why not base a novel on it)?