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Mary Toft; or, the Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer

“And so the truth must, in the end, be a matter of consensus.” 

Based on true events, which are apparently quite true, Mary Toft gives birth to rabbits. Yes, you heard me correctly. A woman in real life, gave birth to rabbits. 

The year is 1726 in England when surgeon John Howard and his apprentice, Zachary, come across this medical phenomenon. Of course the want to study a woman birthing an animal is immense, if not, absolutely necessary. And they have plenty of material to analyze considering she is birthing one every two to three days! Soon, their discoveries gather the interest of more than just the general public—the King wants a hand in it too.

This novel grabbed my attention at: “true story - woman births rabbits.” Although classified as fiction, the characters and event are real. Talk about hooked. Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer is exquisitely bizarre from head to toe and although at the surface level, it appears to be a story about belief and collective truths, it is much darker. It is really about human depravity and self destruction for self preservation. Elevating our self worth by destroying those around us. A lot to gather from a book about birthing rabbits, I know. But you can find the most wondrous of morals in especially the most macabre of tails. (Get it? Tails? )

Now, although this isn’t traditionally a “horror” book, I would argue that the premise is horrifying enough. If having to pump out rabbit parts from your nether regions isn’t gruesome enough for you, then I would question your sanity in regards to your indifference on human/animal mutilation. I think you’ll find that the want to cringe from intrigued disgust will be unavoidable over the course of this novel.

I suggest this book if you’re looking to sink back into old English and relish in a bizarre set of events. The 1700’s style writing is somehow nostalgic although, unless we are all vampires, shouldn’t feel so homey. Yet it does. And if you are particularly fond of rabbits.... then might I suggest you sit out for this one.


Mona Kabbani is a horror fan, book reviewer, and writer obsessed with psychology and the human condition. She emulates the conflict of the good versus the bad and all the inbetween in her work while providing an entertainingly horrifying experience.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram and keep up with her writing on her website and Wattpad profile.

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