The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel

Front Cover
Bantam, 2012 - Fiction - 480 pages
95 Reviews

For anyone who loves the historical novels of Sara Gruen, Geraldine Brooks, and E. L. Doctorow, a barnstorming tale of an irrepressible, brawling, bawdy era and the remarkable woman who had the courage to match the unique spirit of America's Gilded Age.

She was only two feet, eight inches tall, but more than a century later, her legend reaches out to us. As a child, Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Warren 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 became the world's most unexpected celebrity. Vinnie's wedding captivated the nation, preempted coverage of the Civil War, and even ushered her into the White House. But her fame also endangered 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, 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.

Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

I adore Melanie Benjamin's creative writing! - LibraryThing
Great historical book, just not my pace. - LibraryThing
Beautifully written with rich characterizations. - LibraryThing
The characters and plot are well developed. - LibraryThing
It actually made me do some research myself! - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sraelling - LibraryThing

Somewhat interesting, but didn't care about Vinnie. She was too cold. I understand that life was difficult for her, but even Minnie found a way to love life. What did Vinnie love? Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarysGirl - LibraryThing

Melanie Benjamin knocks another one out of the park with this fictional biography. Fascinating characters, great settings, meticulous research. Read full review

Selected pages

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

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. She lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information