El Niño Farini

El Niño Farini


El Niño Farini (born Samuel Wasgatt in America) was a trapeze artist who as a boy proved enormously popular with the British public during the 1860s. When puberty approached, he grew his hair, changed his costume and enjoyed even greater success as Mademoiselle Lulu. A young girl performing perilous feats – and showing her bare limbs – was far more likely to draw the crowds than any male counterpart. Commentators, of which there were a great many, often referred to Lulu’s grace and beauty. The success of the hoax depended on maintaining a convincing illusion at all times, even offstage. In 1876 Lulu fell from a platform while performing in Dublin and when a doctor was called, the truth came out.

Photographed by Adolph Naudin of London.

Entered at Stationers' Hall on 15 June 1866. (Copyright owner of work: Farini, 15 Cornwall Street, Fulham. Copyright author of work: A. Naudin, 124 Brompton Road.)


 


Code: 127345
© Paul Frecker 2022