“At first glance, it would seem that Wendy Moore, a lively English journalist and social historian, has written an account of Victor Frankenstein’s reluctant endeavors to present his monster with the wife the lonely creature so desperately craves. Not so. Moore’s extraordinary subject is the compellingly repellent historical figure Thomas Day, a children’s book writer and ardent abolitionist.
Acting in cahoots with John Bicknell, a lifelong friend from Charterhouse, Day visited the smaller Shrewsbury sister-branch of London’s Foundling Hospital and later the main hospital itself. At that time, children could be adopted from such institutions to become apprentices, and Bicknell and Day put the unknowing Edgeworth forth as a potential employer, performing a dual act of abduction. Two pretty little girls, one auburn-haired and one blond, were singled out, renamed Sabrina and Lucretia, and carried off to be trained as potential brides for Thomas Day.”
— Miranda Seymour, The New York Times
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