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The Little Animals

4.75  ·  Rating details ·  12 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, a quiet linen draper in Delft, has discovered a new world: the world of the little animals, or animalcules, that he sees through his simple microscopes.

These tiny creatures are everywhere, even inside us. But who will believe him? Not his wife, not his neighbors, not his fellow merchants-- only his friend Reinier De Graaf, a medical doctor. Then he
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Paperback, 373 pages
Published May 15th 2019 by Aqueduct Press
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Pam Porter
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Based on the life of Anton van Leeuwenhoek in the late 17th century and his work grinding lenses for early microscopes that he built. He was the first to see protozoa, bacteria, red blood cells, and spermatozoa. The author creates a "goose girl" and a close relationship with the painter Johannes Vermeer that there is no proof of. Sarah Tolmie spins a wonderful tale, weaving facts and fiction. It is SO good! I read an advance copy but the book is being released April 30, 2019. Nice fictional ...more
Megan
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me want to join a book club just so that I can recommend this book as our club's next read. There will be a few naysayers in this hypothetical club that weren't as charmed as I was by Tolmie's latest novel, but they will at least agree the historical setting made the book interesting to discuss. More importantly, the majority will do as I did and start recommending it to other friends who will recommend it to other friends and finally set this book on the path to getting the ...more
Jenn
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story about understanding and acceptance, perception and reality. This book was about so many things, and had such a cast of lovable characters. It was a bonus that this was loosely based on the discovery of microbiology. I hope the author writes another story about the goose girl. This book took me by surprise, I really enjoyed it.
Denise O’Connor
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it worked on so many levels. First, the setting of 17th century Delft was fascinating in that Tolmie paints a vivid picture of family, class, the economy, gender relations, religion, as well as relations between Protestants and Catholics, the English and the Dutch. The story of Antoni Leeuwenhoek, the “father” of microscopes who revealed a whole new world of microbes or “animalcules” was new to me and so interesting. The character of the goose girl and her geese was novel and ...more
Matt Hunt
This was a pretty stunning book.
Vermeer, the discovery of microbes, cloth making, the 16th century sex trade and catholics vs Protestants all threaded through with Grimms goose girl.
Wonderful, I’d read it again and recommend to everyone.
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Norwescon: The Little Animals by Sarah Tolmie 1 1 Jan 13, 2020 10:16PM  

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Sarah Tolmie is the author of the 120-sonnet sequence Trio, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press (release date 1 April 2015) and the chapbook Sonnet in a Blue Dress and Other Poems (Baseline Press, 2014). She has also published a novel, The Stone Boatmen, and a short fiction collection, NoFood, with Aqueduct Press (both 2014).

She is a medievalist trained at the University of Toronto and
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