Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Brad and Angelina of the 1800's

Charles Stratton, born in 1838, was the Brad Pitt of his day. Of course you may know him better by his stage name, "Tom Thumb". George Sullivan has written a compelling book for young adult readers, detailing the large baby, who stopped growing at about age 4, and became an international star, thanks to P.T. Barnum, the master showman.

" The Remarkable Story of a Man in Miniature" is the compelling story of Charles Stratton, a large baby who apparently stopped growing at the age of 4. P.T. Barnum was in need of a hit attraction, and when he discovered Charles, he convinced his parents to let the boy become the star of his show. Misstating the age of the boy, made him seem even smaller that he actually was, and Barnum taught him songs and dances, which Charles quickly found that he enjoyed. Renamed Tom Thumb, Charles became an instant hit. Touring the world, entertaining Kings and Queens, as well as the common folk with the price of a ticket, Tom was directed by Barnum, throughout his life.

When Tom found the "little" woman of his dreams in Lavinia Warren, their marriage became a show as well. As he aged, Tom tired of travel, but being a spendthrift, he toured much longer than he wanted to.

Tom and Lavinia remained together until Tom's death, in 1883, at the age of 45. His funeral was attended by more than 10,000 people. A much loved entertainer, his place in history was guaranteed.

This book is an excellent example of a celebrity biography, and will hold the attention of even the "non-reader".

I received this e-book from Net Galley for review on Melville, my reader. The release date is 2/28/2011.




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