In a dusty corner of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Norway lie the remains of Julia Pastrana, half hidden in a black plastic sack, all but forgotten. Yet in the middle of the 19th century, this "ape woman" was renowned, visited by scientists of international repute, and drawing the populace of three continents to the freakshows in which she starred. Just 4ft 6in tall, she was covered in hair, with a protruding jaw; but she also spoke several languages, married, had a child, made money. This is the strange story of how a woman born in the backwoods of Mexico came to be one of the most infamous women in Europe and America and how, so many years after she first set foot upon the stage, Julia is still being shown to others. The exhibition goes on.
About Christopher Hals Gylseth
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Published January 1, 2001
by The History Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment.