From The Publisher
An irresistible novel set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and based on the real life of Tom Thumb, a young man only twenty-five inches tall, who became, in his time, America’s most famous entertainer, applauded internationally. Written by a writer whose previous work has been called “sprawling and elegant” (The New York Times Book Review), this novel weaves together a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at life during the Civil War and a moving tale of one misfit’s odyssey to find his place in the world.
Discovered at age four by P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb soon finds himself traveling internationally, sitting on the laps of the queens of Europe, and entertaining the masses. He meets Czar Nicholas and the King of Saxony, and is invited to the Tuilleries by Louis Philippe. After marrying Lavinia Warren, Tom and wife are hosted at the White House by President Lincoln. With the country at war, Tom and Lavinia set out on their honeymoon tour and witness firsthand the fracture between the states, the heroism of young soldiers, and the unbreakable spirit of the American people.
“In exquisite counterpoint, Rinaldi’s book makes history live again in accounts of the Civil War and of Barnum and unforgettable General Tom Thumb.”
—Sue Walker, Poet Laureate of Alabama
“A stunning tour of an era, an American psychological landscape. Rinaldi doesn’t have to make it up. The absurd history leaps at him. He catches it, shapes it, and gives it body and language. This is an achievement—a lively, instructive romp that tells us as much about our time as about ‘back then.’”
—Jay Parini, author of The Last Station and
The Passages of H.M.
"On one level Rinaldi has written a lively historical novel about Tom Thumb. But this book is so much more than that. It is about that most human of conditions, those trembling moments when hot passion and the desire for love just seem too big and overwhelming for our puny bodies trying to contain such powerful emotions."
—Richard Morais, author of The Hundred-Foot Journey
and Buddhaland Brooklyn
The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb
Scribner/Simon & Schuster, 2014
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Written in a voice that is both witty and lyrical, and with a colorful secondary cast including Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, P.T. Barnum, and notable figures of the period, this is an evocative, poignant imagining of one man’s story at a unique moment in American history.
See more at Simon and Schuster
"Imaginatively blends fact and fiction... Top-notch entertainment."
– Publishers Weekly
"Rollicking. . .Rinaldi also illuminates the Civil War backdrop to great effect. . . history lovers will find plenty here to appreciate."
Nicholas Rinaldi, an award winning writer, is the author of three collections of poetry and four novels. His latest book, The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb, has just been published by Scribner.