In these seventeen robust tales Emma Donoghue vividly brings to life the strangely exhilerating sideshows of humanity lost to traditional history over the last seven hundred years. The obscure records she stumbled across--an engraving of a woman giving birth to rabbits; a plague ballad; surgical case notes; theological pamphlets; an articulated skeleton--are ingeniously expanded into rollicking, full bodied fictions. Here kings, surgeons, soldiers, and ladies of leisure rub soldiers with cross-dressers, cult leaders, pioneers, and arsonists. /> Whether she's spinning the tale of an Irish soldier tricked into marrying a dowdy spinster, a Victorian surgeon's attempts to "improve" women, a seventeenth century countess who ran away to Italy disguised as a man, or an "undead" murderess returning for the maid she left behind to be executed in her place, Emma Donoghue brings to her tales a colorful, elegant prose filled with the sights and smells and sounds of the period. She summons the ghosts of those women who counted for nothing in their own day and brings them to unforgettable life in fiction.
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