Queen of the Air is a biography of the two greatest trapeze artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The glorious rise to fame of Leitzel Codona and her husband Alfredo is a fascinating story. Both of them physically punished their bodies for over thirty years as performers in the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus. I like Dean Jensen's style of writing. His descriptions of some their athletic feats are visual and vivid. He also reveals other aspects of Leitzel's life that are just as interesting.
Leitzel performed flips and jumps in a revolving sphere powered by someone riding a bicycle. Alfredo performed a signature move called The Triple. This involved performing three sommersaults in mid air. Leitzel performed live in front of more people than any celebrity in her day. She also performed a trapeze act on Broadway as a member of a Zeigfield show. This is an amazing fact.It is verified from thirty years of research by the author. Leitzel's mother also performed a strip tease trapeze act. There is another performer who attempted a head stand without using his arms. These are all exciting things that I love to see in person. I am equally impressed by the education and refinement of Leitzel Codona. She educated her husband and the children of her fellow circus performers how to read. She instilled in all her students a love of art and history She also taught them how to play piano. Leitzel Codona was a great educator as well as a circus performer. Her efforts transformed her husband into a better person. This is something I think every person should do for their spouse. Queen of The Air is an entertaining biography about a fascinating woman.
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