In his previous novels, Palmer used fictionalized technologies to explore humanity’s relationship to science; in Mary Toft, he homes in on the particular cadences of medical history.
Nobody in Mary Toft gets purely suckered.
Throughout Mary Toft, John serves as Palmer’s wavering spokesman for trust.
If the Virgin Mary could give birth to Jesus Christ, why can’t Mary Toft give birth to a rabbit?
The London doctors’ capacity to believe Mary stems from self-interest, not sympathy or curiosity; their gullibility is the product of sheer greed.

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