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Elvira Madigan
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Circus Performer
    (December 4, 1867-July 20, 1889)
    Born in Flensburg, Germany
    Birth name is Hedvig Antoinette Isabella Eleonore Jensen
    Tight rope walker and trick rider
    Daughter of Norwegian and Danish circus performers
    Went into hiding with her Swedish lover Lieutenant Sixten Sparre on the island of Tasinge in Denmark
    Shot by Sparre in a possible suicide pact after a final picnic dinner
    Subject of Swedish cult film ‘Elvira Madigan’ (1967)
    Her disappearance caused her family great stress and financially hurt their circus.
    She ran off with Lieutenant Sixten Sparre even though he was married with two children.
    When their money ran out, they evidently decided they had no choice but to kill themselves.
    Her story became a tabloid sensation.
    She was spoofed by Catherine O’Hara in an SCTV sketch called ‘Elvira Mad Again.’
    She and Sparre became mythologized as the Scandinavian Romeo and Juliet.
    She was the star attraction of her family’s circus.
    She may have run away to escape her grueling work at the circus, where she’d been performing since age five.
    She and Sparre were said to look ‘perfectly calm’ when their bodies were discovered.
    Brides often leave their bouquets on her grave as she never had a chance to marry herself.

Credit: Georgina


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