Jules Léotard. Mémoires de Léotard. Deuxième édition. Paris, 1860

Memoirs of celebrated trapeze artist Jules Léotard, with lovely folding plate

Jules Léotard. Mémoires de Léotard. Deuxième édition. Paris, Chez tous les libraires, 1860. 14 x 9,8 cm. 188 pp. With a large folding lithographed plate. Original printed wrappers. In good condition, the lower margins with some faint water stains, the delicate wrappers worn, the plate with two insignificant tears, the occasional fox spot.

 

Second edition of the memoirs of famed French acrobat and trapeze artist Léotard, with a beautiful folding lithograph showing the author performing in mid-air.

 

Jules Léotard (1838-1870) was born in Toulouse as the son of a gymnastics instructor. He practised gymnastics from a young age and later joined the renowned Cirque Napoléon. In 1859 he "invented the first flying trapeze known in the Western world. He also designed the gym tights, subsequently named for him, that have become the ubiquitous wear of the dance class. Léotard built an act around his trapeze and played it for a decade throughout Europe until his death" (Cullen).

 

Cf. Cullen, Vaudeville old & new, vol. I, p. 5.

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