On Friday, Feb. 13, 1863, while the Civil War raged on, the Chicago Tribune ran a front-page story on the wedding of Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump to Charles Stratton, better known as General Tom Thumb.

Why did their wedding warrant such attention? Why did their guest list include not only members of the day’s high society, but also President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln?

Because the couple were tiny people with perfect proportions — Stratton stood 40 inches high and Bump 32 inches — and, as such, fascinated the world.

The Tribune article recounts that the crowd of revelers surrounding Grace Church in New York City blocked traffic for four blocks and numbered about “5,000 persons.” The president and his wife were unable to attend; they later invited the Thumbs to the White House.

But despite this celebrity, not much is known about Mrs. Tom Thumb today. It was this dichotomy that set author Melanie Hauser, whose pen name is Melanie Benjamin, on the path to writing her newest novel, “The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.”

“I was looking up famous women in the 19th century on the Internet, and one list had the name Lavinia Warren,” Hauser said. “As soon as I started discovering how very famous she was in her time and yet we don’t know about her, I became intrigued with her story.”

The celebrity of Stratton and Bump was such that they toured the world as the Tom Thumb Company from 1863 to 1878 and traveled with Barnum’s circus in 1881. Hauser’s book describes Bump’s life from her first memories to her husband’s death.

This is Hauser’s second historical fiction novel. Her first was 2010’s best-selling “Alice I Have Been,” about the girl who was Lewis Carroll’s muse for “Alice in Wonderland.”