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Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen: A Novel | Dexter Palmer
16 posts | 16 read | 16 to read
In 1726, in the town of Godalming, England, a woman confounded the nations medical community by giving birth to seventeen rabbits. This astonishing true story is the basis for Dexter Palmers stunning, powerfully evocative new novel. Surgeons apprentice Zachary Walsh knows that his master, John Howard, prides himself on his rationality. But John cannot explain how or why Mary Toft, the wife of a local journeyman, has managed to give birth to a dead rabbit. When this singular event becomes a regular occurrence, John and Zachary realize that nothing in their experience as rural physicians has prepared them to deal with a situation like thisstrange, troubling, and possibly miraculous. John contacts several of Londons finest surgeons, three of whom soon arrive in Godalming to observe, argue, and perhaps use the case to cultivate their own fame. When King George I learns of Marys plight, she and her doctors are summoned to London, where Zachary experiences a world far removed from his small-town existence and is exposed to some of the darkest corners of the human soul. All the while Mary lies in bed, as doubts begin to blossom among her caretakers and a growing group of onlookers waits with impatience for another birth, another miracle.
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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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Pickpick

I wouldn't call this the most enjoyable book I ever read, and sometimes I let it sit for a bit before returning to it, but in the end it is a well written, unique and interesting novel. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
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Yesterday, my boyfriend was telling about a googling typo that somehow led him to Mary Toft, and I remembered reading about this book! It happened to be less than $4 on Kindle, so here we are. One of the things I find most interesting very early on is the descriptions of the meals. Stewed lettuce, anyone?

IndoorDame I‘ve never tried it, but I have a friend who grew up with lettuce in soup the same as any other greens, so people do cook it 6mo
MommyWantsToReadHerBook @IndoorDame I guess you learn something new every day! 😳 6mo
38 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Godpants
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Pickpick

So I finished this novel in 3 very separated readings but WOW. It‘s such an unusual story that it‘s based on, and I think it‘s so fascinating.

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JenniferP
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Pickpick

I loved this weird book based on a true story about a woman in the 1700s who gives birth to 17 rabbits. Or does she? And whose voice is more important - the male surgeons attending her, or Mary Toft‘s own?

BarbaraBB Such an original read! I was plead surprised by it! 2y
21 likes1 comment
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8little_paws
Pickpick

I was super excited to read this after absolutely loving Version Control and this did not disappoint. Like that book, this goes deep into big picture ideas--the availability of humanity, otherness, history and factualness for lack of a better word--yet the plot still moves and the characters still pop. I will read whatever Dexter Palmer writes.

Suet624 Totally agree with you. 2y
37 likes1 comment
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8little_paws
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Unsurprisingly, I freaking love this.

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azulaco
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Pickpick

This was such a weird book, and took a long time for me to finish. I knew that it was based on actual events, but the whole freak-show quality of the narrative was uncomfortable for me. Bringing in an actual freak show at one point didn‘t help. It was really a very sad story, when considered from Mary Toft‘s point of view. I would have liked to have heard more in her voice. I listened to the audiobook, and thought it was well done. #ToB #ToB2020

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Jen2
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Pickpick

Good but very weird!!!

Suet624 Yup! 2y
74 likes1 comment
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BarbaraBB
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#TOB2020

I liked both books a lot and Mary Toft is so unique but in the end I‘ll go for Lost Children Archive because of its political relevance and its impressive observations of marriage and parenthood.

Cinfhen Oh, another good matchup 🤗I haven‘t read Mary but I‘ve seen good reviews and I did LOVE Lost Children 2y
Sace I've got Lost Children on my TBR. I'm going to read the tagged book first as I think it was what she wrote first and then expanded on... 2y
BarbaraBB @Sace Isn‘t that the same book? The title seems similar? 2y
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Sace @BarbaraBB not really. Lost Children is a novel and I think it was based on the series of non-fiction essays about the real life cross country trip that make up Los niños perdidos (a very thin volume.) I hope this makes sense. 2y
Sace Here's the book in English. Sorry for the confusion. 2y
BarbaraBB @Sace I see! So interesting to read that one first! 2y
73 likes6 comments
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BkClubCare
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Yay! Finally, starting this gorgeous thing. In a gorgeous ☀️🌴 place.🛥
#tob #tob2020 (only 3 left after this: Fleischman, Testaments, Overthrow)

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Loved this one!! Enjoy! 2y
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thebluestocking
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I‘m getting excited for the Tournament of Books!! It should start in a week or so! 💙

#tob20 #tob #tob2020

Cinfhen Great photo 2y
thebluestocking @Cinfhen Thank you! I like how it turned out. 💙 2y
Cinfhen Are these books your faves??? 2y
thebluestocking @Cinfhen They‘re just the tournament books I have physical copies of. But Mary Toft and Normal People were among my favorites on the short list. 2y
Cinfhen 😊👍🏽 2y
91 likes5 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

A book like this is why I love the #ToB so much. I never would have read this if it weren‘t for the tournament. And how glad I am I did. The tale of Mary, giving birth to rabbits, is storytelling at its best. I loved every page of it. It‘s mostly about (the ego‘s of) the surgeons and their apprentices surrounding her but in the end the story becomes hers.

#Booked2020 #Headcovering #ToB2020

CindyE09 I am excited for my library hold to come in on this one. The premise sounds really interesting. 2y
BarbaraBB @CindyE09 I hope your hold will come in soon. It really is great book. 2y
TrishB https://apple.news/Af9tm571VRj-ZC-_VLDwTcA this literally just came up in my news as I read your review! (edited) 2y
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BarbaraBB @TrishB Thanks! The reactions of Georgian Britain are indeed what make this story so interesting. Have you read it? 2y
TrishB No, I‘ve heard of the story but not read this yet. It‘s stupidly expensive here at the moment , so I‘ll wait for an offer! 2y
Megabooks Okay, now I want to read this! 2y
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I think you‘ll like it. 2y
squirrelbrain Sounds intriguing - stacked! 2y
4thhouseontheleft Echoing @squirrelbrain - I‘m intrigued! 2y
Kalalalatja Stacked! It sounds really interesting 2y
Megabooks You‘re starting quite the trend, Barbara!! Yay!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻😘 I‘ll see if my library orders it first. 2y
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @4thhouseontheleft @Kalalalatja It‘s a fun read, based on a true story! 2y
rmaclean4 I have been on the fence about this one. I was going to wait and see how it did in the tournament, but you have convinced me to pick it up! 2y
BarbaraBB @rmaclean4 I hope you you will enjoy it, it is an easy read and highly entertaining! 2y
thebluestocking I‘m so glad you enjoyed this one. I really loved how I was pulled into the time and place and people of this odd story. 💙 2y
Suet624 I‘m so glad you liked this. I thought it was great and it‘s definitely a book I never would have known about if not for the TOB. (edited) 2y
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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

I don't think I would have found Dexter Palmer's Mary Toft; or The Rabbit Queen if it weren't for the Tournament of Books. This is a DEEPLY strange novel that was fantastic on audio (I listened on Scribd that tells the story of a women who begins giving birth to dead rabbits. Set in a small town in 1726, the story focuses--for the most part--on the understanding of local surgeon John Howard and his apprentice (and son of a minister) Zachary. ⬇️

UnabridgedPod As the two struggle to understand Mary Toft's horrific affliction, they call in experts from London, desperate to help the poor woman and to identify the cause--whether medical or spiritual--of her suffering. ⬇️ 2y
UnabridgedPod The book is funny in parts and takes full advantage of the contrast between country and city (of London), of the medical misunderstandings of the 1700s, and of the gender gap between the surgeons and the women they serve. The book has so much to say about arrogance and sincerity, about emotion and logic, and about skepticism and credulousness. I absolutely loved it. ⠀

Has anyone else read this one? What's the last really strange book you read?
2y
BarbaraBB I am reading it right now and enjoying it too! 2y
UnabridgedPod @BarbaraBB That‘s awesome!! 🎉 2y
26 likes4 comments
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thebluestocking
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January was a crazy good reading month for me. My favorite was Mary Toft, but there was a lot of good stuff in here.

8 #tob/1 #supertob
2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/12 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/7 ⭐️⭐️⭐️/1 ⭐️⭐️
10 physical/9 audio/3 ebook
12 owned/9 library/1 #lmpbc
5 nonfiction/14 adult fiction/1 middle grade
4 #botm
1 #Newbery

#januarywrapup #januarystats #januaryreads

Jenny If I read that many books in a month I‘d be elated!!! Sorry for ask the sudden likes. Finally got on Litsy again. Let‘s see if I can keep it up. 2y
thebluestocking I‘m so glad you‘re here!! That‘s the most books I‘ve ever read in a month by almost double!! And then I hit a total reading slump and didn‘t touch a book for the first two weeks of February. 🤷‍♀️ 2y
60 likes2 comments
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Readerann
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Oh my, this is a weird book, but well-written and it‘s drawing me in despite myself. I‘ll see it through because it‘s on the #ToB shortlist. I also have it on audio, so will be listening to it when my eyes need a break this weekend. #24in48

UCLAoso I heard about this book on a podcast and was intrigued by the premise but wondered as to its execution, seems like the author pulled it off! 2y
Readerann @UCLAoso It‘s unique, for sure. The jury is still out as to how much I‘ll end up liking it! 2y
21 likes2 stack adds2 comments