A real lifestyles Water for Elephants, Queen of the Air brings the circus international to existence throughout the gorgeously written, actual tale of well known trapeze artist and circus performer Leitzel, Queen of the Air, the main well-known girl on the earth on the flip of the twentieth century, and her star-crossed love affair with Alfredo Codona, of the well-known Flying Codona Brothers.
Like contemporary Beyonce, Madonna, and Cher, she was once identified to her gigantic public through only one identify, Leitzel. There can 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 used to be born into Dickensian conditions, and have become a princess after which a queen. She was once now not a lot higher than an outstanding measurement fairy, simply four-foot-ten and no more than a hundred kilos. within the first a part of the 20 th century, she presided over a sawdust fiefdom of endless magic. She was once the largest big name ever of the most important circus ever, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the best express on the earth.
In her existence, Leitzel had many suitors (and 3 husbands), yet just one guy ever absolutely captured her center. He used to be the good-looking Alfredo Codona, the best trapeze flyer that had ever lived, the single one in his time who, evening after evening, finished 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 known as it, took the lives of extra daredevils than the other circus stunt.
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Additional resources for Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus
Backward! The locals didn't name the tiny birds hummingbirds. They referred to as them via their Spanish identify, colibríes. Edward and Hortense known as them colibríes, too, even though neither used to be of Mexican descent. either have been born in Mexico, yet Edward’s forebears have been from Scotland; Hortense’s have been from France. consistently while Edward watched the hummingbirds, Victoria was once on his lap. She had auburn hair and eyes the colour of violets. “Oh, if any guy may well do what those birds can do,” Edward may say to little Victoria, “there will be no position in the world the place his identify used to be now not respected. ” yet, in fact, no guy had ever been born that can defy gravity the way in which the colibríes did. now not but besides. The spectacles the hummingbirds staged at nightfall could have placed Edward in brain of a circus the place the entire performers have been costumed in richly coloured satins and sequins. Circuses have been whatever he knew approximately. He himself was once the operator of a touring, tented express. Like a mom who buys an oversize go well with for a tender son in a trust the boy gets or 3 years of churchgoing out of it, Edward, from the beginning, gave his circus a identify that he was once convinced it can ultimately develop into: “Gran Circo Codona—Primero en Su Clase. ” It used to be an exceptional circus. It quite was once. yet at its commence, the Gran Circo Codona—Primero en Su Clase had simply 3 performers: Edward, Hortense, and a horse. The circus simply by no means grew, even though. After rolling up and down via Mexico for 6 or 8 years, it was once nonetheless simply Edward, Hortense, and a horse. The Gran Circo honorific that Edward had given the tiny convey held on it as baggily as a fats man’s go well with drapes on a schoolboy. Edward prepared with the operators of small freight trains to maneuver his circus from one stand to a different. the total show—the tent, its props and bench seating, the pony, and Edward and Hortense, in addition to Victoria—could simply be packed in one, small railroad-baggage vehicle. notwithstanding the exhibit had no revealed courses to promote or hand out to its consumers, this can be the lineup that the viewers observed after taking their seats at the benches contained in the tent: Horizontal Bars. Senor Eduardo Codona twine strolling. Senora Hortense Buislay unmarried Trapeze. Senor Eduardo Codona Trick Horseback using. Senor Eduardo Codona “Los Cometas” (The Comets), flying trapeze act. Senor Eduardo Codona and Senora Hortense Buislay “Equilibrium Act” (ground acrobatics). Senora Hortense Buislay Horizontal Bars. Senor Eduardo Codona “Spiral Mountain. ” Senor Eduardo Codona The Spiral Mountain was once via a long way the main superb of the Gran Circo Codona’s sights. Edward played the act on an ascending wood ramp that curled like a corkscrew from the ground to the pinnacle of a towering wood pole that used to be at its heart. donning slippers, he balanced himself atop a wide wood globe that was once situated on the backside of the ramp. Then, by means of relocating his toes in a shuffling movement over the globe, he all started making his gradual ascent. It took him mins to arrive the “mountain’s” summit. Then, by means of resuming the shuffling movement of his ft atop the globe, he made his as far back as the floor.