I found this story on Jeff Kacirk’s “Forgotten English” day calendar from August 31/September 1, 2013.
That’s right. The title is Mary Toft’s Rabbit Babies. Brace yourselves.
“In September 1726, Englishwoman Mary Toft added a page to the book of obstetric oddities. In Godalming, Surrey she apparently began giving birth to stillborn rabbits, even in the presence of local surgeon John Howard. This bizarre activity continued even after the arrival of King George I’s anatomist-surgeon, Nathaniel St. Andre, and London’s most prestigious obstetrician, Sir Richard Manningheim.
“According to Toft, just before the birthing began she craved roasted rabbit and dreamed of rabbits in her lap. From this, these experts pretended to deduce that ‘birth defects’ had resulted from Mary’s ‘maternal impressions’. In all, sixteen small rabbits were whelped before the hoax was finally exposed by Manningheim in late November.
“It seems that in an attempt to gain a bit of fame and coax a pension from the king, Mary had been passed one rabbit after another by her husband, which she stealthily inserted into herself and ‘delivered’–until she was placed under 24-hour watch. She was charged with fraud but released, while the not-so-vigilant Howard and St. Andre saw their medical careers ruined by the ensuing ridicule.”
There is nothing I can even say about this.
We talking about people being fame-hungry today, but this is not a new phenomenon. You call me when one of the Kardashians starts shoving dead rabbits in her vagina.