Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mabel Burton Ringling - The Woman behind the Circus


Mabel Burton was born in a small town in Ohio in the year 1875. Of humble origins, she left her parents and her five siblings behind and headed to Chicago to pursue her own destiny which included not only a way to make a living, but to find herself a good husband. It is unknown exactly how she met John Ringling, but when she did, they fell in love and were soon married. She was thirty and he was thirty-nine at the time. 
John Ringling
After they wed, they began building their dream home in Sarasota, Florida.  s, juilcmoved to Hoboken, New Jerseyy
tJohn Nicholas Ringling. They wed in Hoboken, New Jersey when Mable was 30 and John was 39 years old.[2] John and Mabel, in 1924, began the creation of their dream home in Sarasota, Florida. 

Built in the Roaring Twenties, after visiting Venice, Ca' d' Zan (House of John in the Venetian dialect), a Venetian Gothic style mansion that resembles the many elegant palazzos of Venice's Grand Canal. The 36,000 square foot mansion sits on a large waterfront and was filled with numerous expensive furnishings including rare art and intricate furnishings that she collected herself in her travels across Europe. Many rooms and items are green as this was her favourite color. 

Sadly, they lived in the home for three years as Mabel died at the age of fifty-four due to Addison's Disease and Diabetes. John was devastated at the loss for he loved her greatly and it is said he never recovered. His soul mate with whom he shared a love for travel, culture, and art was gone. 
Mable and John are buried at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, just in front and to the right of the Ca d'Zan. It is behind the Secret Garden.
Author Kristy Cambron has researched Mabel's life and has written a rich tale about her quiet life, despite the fame of her name. 
BOOK REVIEW
An ounce of courage. A leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.
In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confi nes of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.
A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.
When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.
A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!

OPINION:

I often do judge a book by its cover, and I did so in this circumstance. Inside is a wonderful biography about a lesser known women in history. Surrounded by wonderfully quirky circus characters and a nomadic lifestyle, Mabel meets the handsome John Ringing, falls in love with him, and marries. 
Written in clear, moving prose, I learned about the wonderful relationships and the many kindnesses of Mabel Ringling. The secondary, fictional character in the story is another woman named Lady Rosamund Easling, a wealthy socialite who leaves her titled family and wealth to be with her horse and to join the circus in America. 
Although the story is not fast paced, it is very interesting and kept me hooked due to the vivid descriptions pertaining to characters and the circus itself. It is filled with emotional happenings and interesting facts. I loved every page of this book as it gave me a glimpse into a romantic way of life that is fading into the anals of history. Highly recommended. 
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.
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