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Vulcana by Rebecca F John

This is the true story of strong woman Kate Williams who found fame as Vulcana between the 1890s and 1930s, after running away from her Abergavenny home and preacher father to join a travelling troupe when she was 16. Rebecca tells her sad, brave story flawlessly.

From the back

On a winter’s night in 1892, Kate Williams, the daughter of a Baptist Minister, leaves Abergavenny and sets out for London with a wild plan: she is going to become a strongwoman.

But it is not only her ambition she is chasing. William Roberts, the leader of a music hall troupe, has captured her imagination and her heart. In London, William reinvents Kate as ‘Vulcana – Most Beautiful Woman on Earth’, and himself ‘Atlas’. Soon they are performing in Britain, France, Australia and Algiers.

But as Vulcana’s star rises, Altas’ fades, and Kate finds herself holding together a troupe of performers and a family. Kate is a woman driven by love – for William, her children, performing and for life. Can she find a way to be a voice for women and true to herself?


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