Toronto: Viking, 1995. 1st Edition. Hard Cover. 8vo. Near Fine / Fine. Item #003260
Full number line. Quarter black and grey paper boards, grey lettering to spine. Light rubbing to spine ends, else a fine copy in a fine jacket. The Great Farini tells the life story of William Leonard Hunt, beginning with his youth in the conservative backwoods of southern Ontario and continuing through worldly adventures so numerous and unusual it seems incredible that one man experienced them all. A sensation in the late 1860s as the leader of the Flying Farinis, Hunt was the mastermind behind the first human canonball act. He was more than a showman; he was the genius behind hundreds of innovations, from folding theatre seats and the modern parachute, to the "rollerboat," the prototype of which still lies under landfill at the edge of Toronto Harbour. He spoke seven languages, wrote several books, and was both an expert botantist and an artist whose paintings were shown alongside Canadian masters. There is even some evidence that early in his life he worked as a spy in the American Civil War.