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The peak of popularity of mobile menageries is considered to be the XIX century: then it was an integral part of everyday entertainment, and even more so fairs and holiday…

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The last refuge of pure art: circus performers on the canvases of European artists of the XIX century
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Ladies, go ahead: circus of curiosities of the nineteenth century

Circus in the modern view, with an arena and a dome, appeared only 200 years ago. However, then the artists, for the most part, entertained the audience not with their abilities, but with an unusual appearance. This review shows the eccentric ladies who surprised the audience in the circus arena in the XIX century.
1. Bearded woman

Annie Jones became a circus star at the age of 9 months. The girl was born with incredibly thick hair on her head and face. But the parents did not have to grieve for long, as the famous showman Phineas Barnum found out about their child. He offered to take the girl to the circus, and the parents pay 150 dollars a week for her. At the age of 5, Annie developed a thick mustache and beard. In addition, the girl did not cut her hair on her head, so in adulthood, the length of her braid reached 180 cm.

In addition to her outstanding appearance, Annie Jones had excellent artistic data and musical talent. She was popular with members of the opposite sex, and was twice married. A bearded woman died of tuberculosis.
2. Conjoined twins

In the mid-nineteenth century, twins Millie and Kristin McCoy were born. All their limbs were present, but the pelvis was fused. The twins ‘ parents were slaves, so they couldn’t do anything when their master decided to sell the curiosity to the circus. As they grew older, the girls passed from one owner to another. In addition to the unusual feature, the girls had wonderful voices. The audience came in droves to listen to”the two-headed Nightingale.”
When the artists turned 30, one of them had health problems. The twins left their performances. It should be noted that by this time the sisters had already considerable savings. They directed their energy to charity. When Millie died of tuberculosis in 1912, her sister lived another 17 hours.
3. Giant woman

Phineas Barnum’s circus had many extraordinary personalities. Anna Swan is one of them. The height of this woman was 2.29 cm. the Showman found her when the girl was 16 years old. Despite her size, Anna led an ordinary life: she studied music and acting. Phineas Barnum persuaded a tall girl to join him in the circus for $ 1,000 a month (which was an incredible amount at the time). In addition, Anna did not stop her musical studies.

Over time, Barnum found another giant. At first, people pretended to be a married couple on stage, and then they actually got married. Anna gave birth to an 8-kilogram baby, but, unfortunately, he did not survive. Female giant died at age 41 on his farm as a result of inflammation of the lungs.
4. Tightrope Walker

Madame Saki (Marguerite-Antoinette Saki) shone under the dome of the circus at the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries.the Girl was born in a family of artists, so from the age of 5, she took part in all fair performances. As she grew older, the girl moved from the ground to the rope. All Paris flocked to see her play miniatures on political subjects.

 

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