A few years ago szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu reported on the story of Baroness Sidonia Barcsy, who lived the carefree life of the 19th century nobility until the day she became terrified to notice that real beard was growing on her face. Here comes her extraordinary story, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you believe it!
The original writer of the article came across a photo of a lady with a bushy beard and a text saying: “Baroness Sidonia de Barcsy was a double rarity in the show world: a genetically-female bearded lady and a true member of a royal family”. This was what triggered the writer to find out more about her life.
Sidonia was born in Pest-Buda on the 1st of May, 1866. There was nothing odd about her, she was beautiful, charming and grew up to be a very good-looking young lady. She had quite a few admirers, among others Baron Antal Barcsy captain cavalier, who earned her love. Sidonia was 19 years old when she gave birth to their child, Nicu. However, the happiness didn’t last for too long as 12 days later the young baroness was terrified to notice that hair started growing on her face. She didn’t want her husband to notice it, so she started plucking them one by one. She managed to keep this a secret for a while, but her beard started growing so fast and strong that it caught Antal’s eyes, more exactly his hands, when he was fondling his wife’s face. Surprisingly the husband took it quite well and forbid his wife to trouble with removing it.
Very happy days were to come hereafter, but they noticed that their son was too small for his age. This was confirmed by a doctor who stated that the boy was Lilliputian. Then came even more trouble, as Antal’s business hopes didn’t turn out as he would’ve liked them to, so he lost his fortune. In these straitened circumstances Sidonia’s specialty meant them the only relief. They started to travel around the country and showed her beard as a sensation for money. However, not too many people were keen on paying for something like this in Hungary, so they decided to conquer West Europe.
A beard wouldn’t have been enough for success abroad, but as it was paired with barony, it was enough to make a living. Meanwhile, little Nicu turned 12 and people were interested in him as well; he even got a job in a circus. They traveled around Europe and managed to save up so much money until 1903, that they were able to cross the Atlantic Ocean and settle down in America. Sidonia’s beard and her Lilliputian son were an even bigger sensation there, so they were immediately offered a circus job.
But, as we know, every wonder lasts three days, and Sidonia wasn’t able to impress the audience forever, so she slowly had to stop performing. Moreover, her husband passed away in 1912 and the only happiness left for her was escorting her popular son to some of his shows. Her mourning didn’t last for too long: she got to know one of Nicu’s colleagues, “the longest bearded Cherokee Indian”, who she married in 1914. They would’ve lived happily ever after if they didn’t die or didn’t live up the modest fortune inherited from Antal. Sidonia had to accept a job offer from an old circus acquaintance and this was how she occupied herself until her death on the 19th of October, 1925. Based on memorials, she died of diabetes.
Nicu moved to Kansas and continued his carrier. He always expected others to treat him like an adult. When he died at the age of 91, according to his will, he was buried in a specially customized coffin, not a children’s coffin.
Copy editor: bm