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Mary Toft, Mother of Rabbits

  • Free
  • Discussion
Photograph of a man and a woman discussing an anatomical drawing, part of a selection of Wellcome library material, in the Viewing Room at Wellcome Collection.
Library Insights event at Wellcome Collection, Steven Pocock. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What you’ll do

Hear the story of Mary Toft, the ordinary 18th-century woman who managed to convince doctors that she had given birth to rabbits. Consider the personal and political context in which this scandalous hoax existed and gain a deeper insight through seeing historic representations.

There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Viewing Room. It’s next to the Library entrance on level 2, which you can reach by taking the lift or the stairs.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

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About your speaker

Professor Karen Harvey

Karen Harvey is Professor of Cultural History at the University of Birmingham, specialising in the 18th century, with particular interests in gender, the body, material culture and public history.