This can justifiably be called history’s most fascinating medical mystery, a dark, true-life Alice in Wonderland tale with a streak of horror. Why should we care today about a poor, eighteenth-century girl who gave birth to monstrosities? Mary Toft’s story bears uncanny parallels with our own time and contains perennial themes: science and superstition separated by the flimsiest of curtains, justice and morality, crime and punishment, and the greed and basic fears at the core of human nature. Prepare yourself for a shattering odyssey as acclaimed polymath Clifford Pickover takes you to the ultimate frontier of medical speculation. With numerous illustrations, this is an engrossing and thoroughly unique introduction to eighteenth-century science and its metaphor for today’s scientific superstitions and politics. For Mary, conspiracies are everywhere, the line between good and evil lost, and the consequences exceed her most unthinkable, private desires.