The Great Belzoni: The Circus Strongman Who Discovered by Stanley Mayes

By Stanley Mayes

This is often the extreme existence tale of Giovanni Belzoni: engineer, barber, monk, actor and strongman in a circus (where he earned his identify "The nice Belzoni"), who grew to become one of many giants of nineteenth century Egyptian Archaeology. occasionally maligned as a tomb robber, he's might be crucial and but least remembered explorer and archaeologist of the final 2 hundred years. lower than seeming very unlikely stipulations Belzoni transported the huge granite head of Ramesses II from Thebes to England, the place it truly is now one of many treasures of the British Museum. He went directly to excavate the nice temple of Abu Simbel, detect six significant royal tombs within the Valley of the Kings, together with that of Seti I, and supply the British Museum with a remarkable selection of Egyptian antiquities. Giovanni Belzoni used to be the 1st individual to penetrate the guts of the second one pyramid at Giza and the 1st eu to go to the oasis of Siwah and become aware of the ruined urban of Berenice at the pink Sea. His exhibitions and best-selling memoirs made him an incredible famous person in Regency London, the place he was once an important effect at the trend for Egyptian variety in artwork, layout and structure. In 1823, on the age of forty-five, Belzoni died of fever attempting to succeed in the mysterious urban of Timbuktu.

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Extra resources for The Great Belzoni: The Circus Strongman Who Discovered Egypt's Ancient Treasures (International Library of Historical Studies)

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Furn! or, Jack the Giant Killer. Those who had read the playbills carefully or bought the pantomime 'book'-on sale in the theatre, price one shilling, with a synopsis of scenes and the words of the songs-knew that Jack was played by Master Menage, the popular juvenile from Covent Garden, that the Giant was a new comer, Signor Belzoni, making his first appearance in England, and that their favourite Joe Grimaldi was the Giant's Dwarf. There were seven scenes in the pantomime and the dialogue (or recitative) was apt to go like this: THRUMBO THE DWARF: Oh what a feast for Giant Grumbo!

In 1801 a mob of thieves and pickpockets surrounded some well-dressed women and T H E G R E A T BELZONI 55 tore the clothes from their backs. In 1807 a juvenile gang was brought to trial at the Guildhall for their activities during the Fair. Their leader was a fifteen-year-old boy and the ages of the others, boys and girls, ranged from ten to fourteen; they were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for stealing toys, which they had disposed of through a sausage-seller named Perfect. Yet about the time that Belzoni exhibited his feats of strength at Bartholomew Fair, another youngster was appearing first in Saunders's, then in Richardson's show.

The gun and the sentrv-boxes turned into a crocodile and a couple of ~ ~ ~ i tmummies. ~~ ~ i o Two d ~ Shoes had its first performance on 20 June. The Lambs and their friends saw it the following week. The piece was still being revived as late as 27 September, but the part of Pero was then played by Mr. Willis: Belzoni had left the Islington theatre. Probably his last appearance at Sadler's Wells was on Saturday, g July, when he performed his feats of strength as the Patagonian Sampson and also acted in Phil+ Quarll and Goody Two Shoes.

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