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Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus    by Dean Jensen Amazon.com order for
Queen of the Air
by Dean Jensen
Order:  USA  Can
Crown, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Queen of the Air by Dean Jensen is not only the story of a diminutive aerialist who became a very famous performer but also tells of the love of her life, Alfredo Codona, and their lives, both apart and together.

Lillian Leitzel was billed as Queen of the Air. She performed dangerous, exhaustive and physically wearing acrobatics, often sixty feet off the ground. She was born in 1891 to a twelve year-old mother who was raped by the man who ran the circus where she performed! Leitzel, as she was known, was just four feet nine inches tall. She quickly became proficient in acrobatics at a young age and thus lived a life of celebrity.

She met Alfredo, who was considered the greatest flyer who ever lived, when she was very young. They felt an immediate attraction for each other but were separated by their professions they were both circus stars but with different circuses. Their lives didn't cross again for many years. This is a love story that transcends the years the participants lived apart.

Both Leitzel and Alfredo traveled the globe, which gives readers a chance to glimpse the world in which they both lived. Queen of the Air is a beautifully researched, and told, tale of love and tragedy.

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