Tom Thumb: The Remarkable True Story of a Man in Miniature George Sullivan
After the age of 6 months, Charley Stratton stopped growing. He stayed 25 inches tall and weighed just 15 pounds due to dwarfism. At a time when there wasn’t medical treatment or public understanding of dwarfism, Stratton joined PT Barnum’s American museum, where he sang songs, danced, and performed in comedic skits. He toured Europe, and then the world. He really was the first international celebrity.
Sullivan’s biography is filled with photographs and there are pull-out boxes to help add background information about dwarfism and the time period. He does a very good job of explaining the limited options that Stratton had and the positives and negatives of being put on display by Barnum. He does a great job of making Stratton come alive and showing a well-balanced portrait of the life he led and the time period he did in. Stratton’s smallness was really brought home for me-- the Kung Fu Princess, whom we often refer to as the Lord Mayor of Tiny Town, is the same size that Stratton was for most of his life.
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