“Glutton of Almada”, “Luciano das ratas”, “giant of Farelos”, “king of rubbish”, the historian Fatima Mariano dedicates a chapter of his new book to all these eccentric and bizarre figures in our history. Finally, there are ten talks interspersed with other short stories that the MA and PhD in Modern History recall in a work she recently presented at national exhibitions.
Great eccentric figures in Portuguese history (Edition Contraponto), originates in a previous title by the same author as a result of the interest shown by readers in the figure of Dorothea Ivo, a young woman from the Algarve with alleged x-ray vision. The motto for Fatima Mariano to cope with the task of discovering many other real stories of characters from the past (including recent ones) that stood out for their exceptional characteristics.
These are narratives that, in the light of modernity, do not leave us indifferent. Some of these men, women and children have earned public exposure at exhibitions. The author clarifies this fact: “what is considered eccentric in a certain historical period and / or in a certain culture may be considered normal in another time and place.” For Fatima Mariano, “the change in how society at large and the press itself is beginning to criticize this form of human exploitation is notorious.” Common to all stories is the fact that the historian looks for traces of overcoming, courage, solidarity, compassion in the figures that she presents to us.
Fatima Mariano brings forgotten figures from Portuguese history to the present. What prompted you to write this book?
The idea came about after the story of Dorothea Ivo, a woman with X-ray vision, was published in my previous book. Great mysteries of Portuguese history. It was she who inspired José Saramago to create the character Blimunda from Monastery memorial. This story aroused great interest among readers. Dorothea Ivo had the ability to see inside the body (humans and animals) and the earth, which at the time could be considered witchcraft, but the Inquisition never bothered her. During my research, I came across other Portuguese who, because of their unusual physical, psychological or behavioral characteristics or unusual profession, were the object of public curiosity and some were exhibited at fairs and concert halls.
In writing this book, have you taken into account the fact that some of the stories it tells are shocking when viewed from today’s perspective?
In the light of current values, yes, it is shocking that there were people who, because of their physical disabilities, were exhibited to satisfy public curiosity, sometimes in childhood. However, it is important to look at the past in the context of time. This was not unique to Portugal. The stories are presented in chronological order, and the change in how society at large and the press itself begins to criticize this form of human exploitation is notorious.
As already mentioned, in Portugal, in the past, these people with some form of disability were publicly represented. When these presentations are over?
There were public performances, yes, even in the second half of the 20th century. In concert halls, fairs, etc., not only for the Portuguese, but also for foreigners, such as the “fat boys” Matheus and Ana, two overweight Italian brothers. He weighed 201 kg at the age of 11, and she weighed 129 kg at the age of nine. They were introduced in Portugal. I don’t know when these shows ended.
Continuing from the previous question, were there any companies/entrepreneurs that promoted this type of show?
In some cases these were foreign businessmen; in others, as in the case of Feliciano da Assumpsão, “Albardo’s monster”, they were family acquaintances who saw his public appearances as a business opportunity.
Were you particularly touched by any of the stories you told us?
They all touched me in their own way. Some because of the suffering associated with it, as in the case of people with disabilities who were publicly exposed, or Albano Jesús Beirao, the “monkey man of Avelozu” who was violent when he was attacked by strange attacks, and who, when he returned to his normal state, he felt guilty and suffered for his behavior. Others are for caricature of situations, as in the case of the “glutton of Almada”, who ate an absurd amount of food, or Luciano Moreira, who became famous as a skilled rat hunter in the sewers of Lisbon. But these stories have another side – overcoming, despite obstacles, solidarity and compassion.
Take in your book the stories of men-women and women-men. In short, can you explain to us what these characters were?
These are cases of pseudohermaphrodites, people in whom the external genitalia have not fully developed and therefore have given rise to the so-called “sexual bugs”. One of the cases presented is that of Inés dos Anjos, who, after seeing doctors in the 1920s, concluded that it was a man and not a woman. She underwent surgery and changed her name to Inacio.
He mentions her in his book as one of “the most charismatic figures of Lisbon at the beginning of the 20th century”. What was so special about Luciano Moreira that he was even a protégé of D. Carlos I?
Luciano Moreira, nicknamed “Luciano das ratas”, became known as an accomplished rat hunter in the early 20th century. Because of the bubonic plague, the civil government of Lisbon decided to pay a certain amount for every dozen killed rats, which were the main carriers of the disease. Knowing that these animals live mostly underground, Luciano Moreira, an unemployed bricklayer, asked the city council for permission to walk through the city’s sewers. This turned out to be his main profession for about six years, albeit with some interruptions. In addition to hunting mice, he also found stolen or lost items, found gas and water leaks, and pursued suspected crimes. On one occasion, he presented the portrait to D. Carlos I, who highly appreciated his gesture and eventually rewarded him with five thousand reais and included him in his list of protected citizens. Luciano Moreira rendered a real public service to the city of Lisbon, but died in poverty. His funeral was paid for by the newspaper. Century.
There is a figure in your book who is impressive in his longevity (he died at the age of 92) despite the hectic life he led. This is Albano Beiran, “the ape-man of Avelozu.” Why was he so called?
Newspaper nicknamed Albano de Jesus Beiran Century for being the victim of mysterious attacks that transformed him. During attacks that could last minutes or hours, he squealed like a beast, ran on all fours, climbed buildings and monuments, and jumped as if he had springs in his legs. There were always crowds around him, and injuries were sometimes reported. When he returned to normal, he did not remember anything. He even went to newsrooms to ask journalists to tell people not to gather around him when he had a seizure because he didn’t want to offend anyone. At the initiative of the government, doctors of various nationalities examined him, and the most unanimous opinion was that he would suffer from nervous epilepsy and lycanthropy. The attacks lasted about 47 years. Because of his illness, he was never able to keep a job. He survived thanks to a state pension and charity. He lived a life of great suffering.
Some of the figures he presents in his book were internationally famous, such as Joao Baptista dos Santos. Who was the “human tripod”?
The doctor nicknamed Juan Baptista dos Santos because he has three legs, four feet, two penises and two anuses, one of which has no holes. This aroused natural public and scientific curiosity. Your case was studied by doctors of different nationalities. He lived for about 30 years and died in England. He was a shoemaker, also exhibited to the public in Portugal and abroad, loved to ride horses, married, had children. This is one case of overcoming because he didn’t let his physical condition get in the way of him living the life he wanted.
journalist To express, Rui Ochoa, wrote the following in 2009: “a target of the same curiosity as always, and a victim of the same interests that made him painfully navigate the world.” He was referring to Gabriel Estevan Monjanet, “The Giant of Manjacase.” It is a sad story…
Yes it’s true. At 2.45 meters, Gabriel Estevan Monjanet was considered the tallest man in the world in 1988. Guinness Book of Records. This physical condition caused him serious health problems and he had to undergo several surgeries. He toured almost all over the world for several years, and those who knew him say that he was very affable, but also that he looked very sad.
Among the characters he presents to us, some have given rise to myths, plots and theories. Would Fatima Mariano want to share one of them with us?
Some people think that the story of Albano de Jesus Beiran, the “Ape Man of Avelozu”, inspired Edgar Rice Burroughs to create the character of Tarzan, but I haven’t found anything to support this theory.
Does he take into account that in some of the periods referred to in the book, there were people or movements that opposed these public manifestations of human beings?
I did not find any mention of organized protest movements of these public exhibitions. I realized that as we move forward in the 20th century, it becomes more and more sensitive to this topic. In the case of the so-called “monkey boys”, for example, Dr. Fausto Landeiro criticizes news diary, as some newspapers called these children. Also in the case of Gabriel Estevan Monjanet and Lucio Pedro, known as the “Dwarf of the Colosseum”, newspapers criticize the fact that these people are exposed because of their physical condition.
In the course of the research you did for your book, did you find any other figures that, due to lack of reliable sources, you did not include in the work?
Yeah. They were not included due to the lack of credible sources or the paucity of information that could be collected. One of these figures is Maria Cachucha, a woman who worked in a slaughterhouse in Torres Vedras. I am very curious to know the story of your life better.
former actor Joao Lamosa continues to fight testicular cancer. At the stage when the situation seems close to a successful conclusion, the boyfriend Philip Torrinha Nunezpsychologist and social columnist SIC, states that there is still a period of considerable vigilance.
In an interview with a magazine new peopleJoao Lamosa recalled the need to remove one of the testicles, replacing it with a prosthesis, and is now embarking on a new stage more diagnoses.
“They removed my testicle and put in a prosthesis. Now it’s time to see if there are metastases. I started with the diagnostic phase, then came the treatment phase, and now I’m back to the diagnostic phase.‘, emphasized Filipa’s partner Torriny Nunez.
However, Joao Lamosa ensures that he has already done “all surgical processes are done there‘, being dependent only on a new phase of continuous observation.
The couple recently attended a gala party. golden globewhich took place on October 2 at the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon and was always very smiling.
Charges were dropped against three teachers who accompanied Jessica Lawson and other students on a trip to France. Seven years after the death of the Englishwoman, the parents are still waiting for answers and the outcome of the process.
Seven years after the death of a young Englishwoman, Jessica Lawson, during a study tour to France, the case being heard at the Palais de Justice in Tulle remains unimpeachable.
All children present at the study visit were minors.
The case has dragged on since 2015 in French courts, and just this week, professors Stephen Lane, Chantel Lewis and Daisy Stothers, who accompanied Jessica and 23 other students, were cleared of all blame, the report said. sky news. They were charged with grossly negligent manslaughter and faced a three-year prison sentence.
This Thursday, Jessica’s mother wrote on the Facebook page of a foundation created in her daughter’s name, the Jessica Lawson Foundation, an emotional text about the death of a child and the development of the process. “No wins, no losses, no draws. Enough. We as a family are proud and stand together. A closeness born of our tragedy. A closeness that continues to grow stronger through our guiding light. Her name is and remains Jessica Lawson. For the past two days, the world media has been chanting her name. And this is normal for our family. Unconditional love is a powerful thing. Immeasurable. I’m Brenda Lawson. I am Jessica’s mother. She is my little girl. No court in any country can take that away from me… ever.”
The teachers’ lawyers argued that the three teachers acted on short notice and that it was an “innocent” accident as it is a protected and protected area. supposedly safe and the child was a good swimmer, but the fact that the pier overturned and capsized made the situation more complicated and caused the teachers to lose sight of the child.
“The territory was examined by a rescuer, the rescuer was present, the flag was green. (…) There was no reason to think that the floating platform could capsize. We do not know if the drowning occurred at the time of the platform overturning. (…) Thus, there is no evidence that they [os docentes e o nadador-salvador] were negligent – therefore they are considered innocent, ”said Marie-Sophie Vaguet, head of the Tulle jurisdiction, deciding not to blame the child for the death.
according to The keeperas well as the rescuer Leo Lemaire, who was on site, and the authorities of the city of Liginiac (from whom they demanded a fine of 45 thousand euros) were found not guilty.
The recent court decision did not please the parents of Jessica Lawson. The parent even left the courtroom after learning that the teachers are experiencing the same pain as the family, the publication reports. BBC.
Queen Margaret of Denmark has apologized for depriving four of her eight grandchildren of their royal titles. However, he did not change his mind about this decision.
The 82-year-old monarchy, which celebrated half a century on the throne earlier this year, announced on Thursday that from next year the children of her youngest son, Prince Joachim, will no longer be called prince and princess.
Therefore, they will only be able to use their titles of Counts and Countesses of Monpezat and will be treated as Excellencies as their titles of “Your Royal Highness” will be “discontinued” according to the royal family.
Helle von Wildenrath Løvgrin, spokeswoman for Countess Alexandra, Prince Joachim’s ex-wife, told CNN on Thursday that Joachim and his children were “saddened” and “shocked” by the decision, which Queen Margaret sees “as necessary proof for the future.” monarchy,” the royal house said in a statement on Monday.
“In recent days, there has been a lot of backlash against my decision to use the bonds for the four children of Prince Joachim in the future. This, of course, affects me, ”the monarch said in a statement.
“My decision was made a long time ago. In the 50 years that I have spent on the throne, it is natural to look both to the past and to the future. It is my duty and my desire as queen to see to it that the monarchy is always in step with the times. Sometimes that means tough decisions to make and finding the right moment will always be difficult,” he added.
The Queen said she made this “adjustment” to allow younger members of the royal family to lead more normal lives, following in the footsteps of similar decisions by other royal families to reduce the monarchy.
“Holding a royal title comes with a number of obligations and responsibilities that will be transferred to a smaller number of members of the royal family in the future,” he said.
Crown Prince Frederick, the Queen’s eldest son, is first in line to the throne. Frederick’s eldest son, Prince Christian, is second in line. Frederick’s four sons retain their titles.
His younger brother Joachim lives in Paris with his wife, Princess Marie, and their two children, Henrik, 13, and Athena, 10. The prince also has two older children, Nikolai, 23, and Felix, 20, from his first marriage. Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg. Although the sons of Joachim would lose their royal titles, they would still retain their places in the order of succession.
“I made the decision as a queen, mother and grandmother, but as a mother and grandmother, I underestimated how much this would affect my youngest son and his family. It gave the wrong impression and I regret it,” said the monarch.
“No one should have any doubts that my children, daughters-in-law and grandchildren are my great joy and pride. I hope that now we as a family can find the peace to find our way through this new situation.”