In October 1726, newspapers began reporting a remarkable event.
In the town of Godalming in Surrey, a woman named Mary Toft was giving birth to rabbits…
Several leading doctors - some sent directly by King George I - travelled to examine Toft. By December, she had been accused of fraud and taken into custody. Mary Toft's unusual deliveries caused a media sensation. Her rabbit births were a test case for doctors trying to further their knowledge about reproduction and pregnancy. These extraordinary births prompted not just public curiosity and scientific investigation, but also a vicious backlash.
Based on extensive new archival research by Karen Harvey, Professor of Cultural History at the University of Birmingham, The Impostress Rabbit Breeder is the first detailed history of this astonishing case.
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