Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Les 10 Fratellinis

The Fratellini Family was a famous circus family in the late 1900s and 1920s. An engagement at the Circus Medrano in Paris, France, after World War I was so successful that it sparked a strong resurgence of interest in the circus. By 1923, the Fratellini brothers had become the darlings of the Parisian intellectuals. They were lauded in print and worshiped by adoring fans who would show up at the circus just in time for the Fratellini entree, which sometimes ran as long as forty-five minutes:

Paul Fratellini (1877–1940)
François Fratellini (1879–1951)
Albert Fratellini (1886–1961), 

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Lowry first saw the famous clowns most probably at the Cirque D' Hiver in Paris during his 1926 visit to the city with his school The Leys for a hockey tournament; "....only the signs above and around her said: Dubonnet, Amer Picon, Les 10 Frattelinis (Malc's spelling).... (Under The Volcano) and "...and to push the matter further we can even half remember that Dick (les Fratellinis, ...) had "helped" a circus clown......" ( The Cinema of Malcolm Lowry: a scholarly edition of Lowry's "Tender is the Night" Edited by Miguel Mota and Paul Tiessen Pg. 76) There is a further mention of the clowns seen as advertisements on pages 78 and 129.

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