La Belle Irene


A post in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Irene Woodward (1862-1915) was New York’s second tattooed lady, having launched her career a scant few weeks after the first, Nora Hildebrandt. Her niche, reinforced by her billing as La Belle Irene, was that she was not only covered in artwork but fair to look at as well. Inspired by Captain Constentenus, she worked at Bunnell’s Museum in New York, then across Europe and with various American circuses.

To find out more about the variety arts past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from etc etc etc



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