Examining notoriety, depicted in part by the story of ‘The Rabbit Woman of Godalming’. The travesties that are often pursued in the search for recognition and illustriousness are sometimes crude and implausible. Psychologists have established a link between this quest for recognition and feelings of rejection or abandonment.

While on a visit to a small museum in the town of Godalming, UK, I came across the ‘The Curious Case of Mary Toft’ who in 1726 created quite a stir while trying to convince the medical profession that she was giving birth to rabbits. Mary Toft’s crude acts threatened her life as she suffered a series of infections yet she continued the performance with the hope of procuring a pension from the state or that people would pay to see her. Her mental state was seemingly not questioned even though she had recently suffered a miscarriage before undertaking this hoax. This work also eludes to the treatment of women bodies referencing shame and the Magdalene laundries.

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