Have you ever dreamed that you gave birth not a baby but some deformed being or even an animal? Mary Toft told (and showed) the society that she had given birth rabbits, but not in dreams. In 1726 this very curious deception occurred in England, which managed to interest doctors and even kings, becoming an urban legend.
Mary Toft was a 25-year-old maid who managed to convince several doctors that she had given birth rabbits. The story is quite unusual and I miss the reasons why this mess formed, although if we were in our days maybe we could talk about a character with a desire to assemble to appear in the pink press.
To convince the doctors, he did not think of anything other than introducing various parts of rabbits into the vagina, not live bunnies and kicking as shown in illustrations that represent this unusual fact. After doing so, she went to the local doctor to help her give birth.
We can already say that doctors have seen everything in the delivery room, but can you imagine the doctor's face when he saw "crown" rabbit ears?
The doctor believed this nightmare birth but could not shut up what he considered a major medical curiosity, so the rumor spread, and not only among the medical community. The king of England himself sent his personal surgeons to meet Mrs. Toft.
The explanation that gave truth to the fact of giving birth rabbits was a medical belief called "Maternal Impression", a false theory that ensured that any impression or experience of the mother could have an effect on the fetus in gestation. Mary Toft said that before giving birth she had felt an uncontrollable desire to eat rabbit, that she used to dream about them and that she spent long hours trying to capture them in the garden of her house.
So the doctors, after examining the rabbit parts given birth, did not doubt that the matter was true. So they took the maid to London, where it finally seems that she confessed the deception and was imprisoned, as detailed in a copy of a newspaper of the time.
However, before going to jail he was closely followed by a team of doctors who recounted how the woman had, day after day, labor pains, contractions, movements in the belly ... although this time there was no surprise as it was could expect from that top hat. What a interpretation!
The investigation indicated that Mary Toft's husband had bought several rabbits of different colors before the strange event. However, after four months, she was released without being prosecuted: her guilt had not been proven, and therefore, who knows if that was not true ... The story had to go around those parts for a good season feeding the tales of old woman, of judges and doctors.
It seems that the woman had suffered a spontaneous abortion, and it occurs to me that perhaps this event could have unbalanced her mentally until she did this barbarity, who knows whether to plot with her husband.
Here you can see another illustration that shows the woman raising rabbits in court. Rabbits coming out in a row and running around as if they were in the field. And in English we have a more extensive explanation of the matter.
We see the unusual story of Mary Toft, the woman who gave birth to 17 rabbits and he made a good assembly even at the risk of his health, his reputation and his freedom. I say again that I have trouble understanding with what intention ...