Obituary: Rosa Bouglione, the undisputed queen of the circus - CircusTalk

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Obituary: Rosa Bouglione, the undisputed queen of the circus

When Rosa Bouglione was married inside a lion’s cage, the pastor, despite his best efforts, was made to stay outside. It wouldn’t have been much of a wedding had he been mauled.

It was only appropriate that this was where Rosa had chosen to be married. After all, she had started her career inside a lion’s cage, working as a serpentine dancer, in her mid-teens.

This was the circus life into which she was born, in the back of a horse-drawn caravan in Belgium in December 1910. Her father was an animal trainer with the family outfit, MĂ©nagerie Van Been, and they toured Europe alongside their snakes, bears and lions.

“I was born in a caravan, and that’s where I left my heart,” Rosa would later write in her autobiography. Aged 17, however, there was another contender for her heart: she fell for a man from another circus family, Joseph Bouglione, whom she said reminded her of a cowboy, and the two were married among the lions.

Link to Full Article on BBC News.