The Final Confession of Mabel Stark

By Robert Hough


Mabel Stark was one of the most famous women of her time, the centre-ring finale act of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus in the 1920s and 1930s when circus was the most popular form of entertainment in North America.

Mabel was five-feet tall, brazen, suicidally courageous, obsessed with tigers and sexually eccentric. In The Final Confession of Mabel Stark, Robert Hough has used the documents of her life to explore the mysteries of her heart. His vibrant and moving fictional autobiography starts in 1968. Mabel is just turning eighty and is about to lose her job. Faced with the loss of her cats, she looks back on her life, her escapades and her tragedies, her love affairs with tigers and men. She also confronts her darkest secret, her guilt at committing, 'the worst thing one person can do to another.' Now, with the end of her life in sight, there is one thing above all else she needs to do. Mabel Stark wants to confess.

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