A real lifestyles Water for Elephants, Queen of the Air brings the circus global to lifestyles during the gorgeously written, precise tale of popular trapeze artist and circus performer Leitzel, Queen of the Air, the main well-known girl on this planet on the flip of the 20 th century, and her star-crossed love affair with Alfredo Codona, of the recognized Flying Codona Brothers.
Like brand new Beyonce, Madonna, and Cher, she used to be identified to her massive public by means of only one identify, Leitzel. There could have been a few areas on the earth the place her identify used to be no longer a loved ones expression, but when so, they have been most probably on polar ice caps or within the darkest, private jungles.
Leitzel was once born into Dickensian conditions, and have become a princess after which a queen. She was once no longer a lot higher than an excellent dimension fairy, simply four-foot-ten and not more than a hundred kilos. within the first a part of the 20 th century, she presided over a sawdust fiefdom of unending magic. She was once the most important celebrity ever of the largest circus ever, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the best express in the world.
In her lifestyles, Leitzel had many suitors (and 3 husbands), yet just one guy ever totally captured her center. He was once the good-looking Alfredo Codona, the best trapeze flyer that had ever lived, the one one in his time who, evening after evening, completed the deadliest of all big-top feats, The Triple--three somersaults in midair whereas touring at 60 m.p.h. The Triple, the salto mortale, because the Italians referred to as it, took the lives of extra daredevils than the other circus stunt.
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Extra info for Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus
A Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch critique of her functionality on the city’s Keith Theatre: “[Miss Leitzel] possesses stylish and application. A charmingly impertinent factor, she is with sq. shoulders and narrow legs, a witching face and, heaven understands, she does whirl herself approximately on jewelry and ropes and issues. this can be a wonder simply because she does … various issues in such an insouciant demeanour. … really she is a headliner simply because what she does calls for years of exertions [and] can’t be simply taught. ” Reviewing her act at Chicago’s Majestic Theatre, the city’s most luxurious apartment, Billboard weighed in a moment time at the vaudevillian whose famous person simply stored emerging: “Miss Leitzel[’s] … act and character should still deliver her the identify of ‘Eva Tanguay of the Air. ’ ” Leitzel used to be an aerialist, Tanguay was once a singer, however the comparability Billboard drew among the 2 had a definite aptness. What was once notable approximately Leitzel was once that she looked as if it would take activity in struggling with with the awful Reaper at any time when she played. whilst she was once doing her one-arm planges, specially, she gave everybody an influence that she used to be at the verge of coming aside. Roland Butler, a press agent, could have positioned it most sensible: “People acquired the assumption she used to be flying aside on the seams, like an aircraft lower than tension. ” hazard of a distinct kind used to be additionally found in all of Tanguay’s performances. She looked to be working a hazard of being arrested and thrown in prison each time she stepped onstage. whereas different chanteuses of the day looked as if it would desire such sappy hits as “The Bells of St. Mary” and “M-O-T-H-E-R,” Tanguay’s repertoire used to be made from decisions like “Go so far as you love” and “I wish a person to move Wild with Me. ” Her vocals appeared much less like songs than solicitations, and whilst she used to be relocating around the forums, she awarded an effect that she used to be plugged right into a mild socket. Her hips have been shimmying and her breasts have been waggling. something is apparent: Leitzel’s supervisor, Gene Hughes, beloved the Billboard remark that she had much in universal with the “I Don’t Care woman. ” It was once now not lengthy earlier than Leitzel was once being merchandised at the Keith-Albee vaudeville posters and in newspaper advertisements as “The Eva Tanguay of the earrings. ” status prior to Leitzel, simply open air the door of her dressing room on the Orpheum Theatre in South Bend, Indiana, have been males, considered one of them the chief of the theater, the opposite a stranger who all started praising her for the degree functionality she had simply awarded. He brought himself as a consultant for the Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros. circuses. might he, the caller desired to understand, seek advice from her? It was once a November evening in 1914. Leitzel prolonged her hand to him and invited the pair into her room. There can have been a twinkling in her eyes, but when so, her tone was once most likely frosted with a touch of sarcasm “You’re late,” she instructed the circus guy. She were watching for and hoping to listen to from an emissary of the Ringling association for a very long time, most likely, actually, seeing that she had begun attracting gleaming studies within the alternate papers for her appearances in vaudeville.