Blondin, my tightroping alter ego

I have a memory of a book from when I was a child about a man crossing over Niagra Falls on a tightrope.  I couldn't recall the name of the book, or of the man who had performed the stunt, although I remembered hearing it for the first time left me with a magical impression. I had done brief research on what this book was called, but alas to no avail. Well, life continues. As such, yesterday I was visiting at the Berkeley Art Museum where there was a retrospective on Willian T. Wiley. Among his works was a large scale painting of a man on a tight rope, crossing Niagra Falls with a full wheelbarrow! Wiley proposed that this figure, by the name of Henri Blondin, was his alter ego. I felt tickled that somehow my search for this book title had surfaced in the form of a painting and desire-to-be-embodied figure. If we can readily choose our alter egos, sure, I want Blondin to be mine, as well.

Look here!

Blondin on a tightrope
The bicycle that Blondin used on one of his many trips over the gorge on a tightrope
Oh my! Blondin making his trip across the gorge with his manager on his back.
These images were sourced from a more comprehensive site: