Circus Press Agent: the Life and Times of Rowland Butler
by
Gene Plowden

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ISBN Number: 0870042998
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 131
Publication Date: 1984
Publisher: The Caxton Printers Ltd

For forty years this book begged to be written but Roland Butler, a modest individual, consistently refused to allow it. Several offered, but the crusty old fellow insisted he was "Nothing but a good circus press agent tryin' to do a job".

He claimed there was nothing newsworthy about him and stubbornly refused interviews, but his peers put him atop his profession, where he belonged.

Butler gave us the saucer-lipped Ubangis, the giraffe-necked women from Burma, the man who performed atop a ten-storey buggywhip, the man who walked on his forefinger, a child prodigy at the xylophone, and a group that "shakes dice with death at dizzy heights."

He promoted Goliath, the sea elephant; Lotus, the blood-sweating hippopotamus; Modic, the great old elephant, and five babies billed as "The only family of African pygmy elephants that ever set foot on this continent. Not babies, but full-grown middle-sized tuskers, the most curious proboscidean creatures ever captured." Later they grew up.

Butler's greatest achievement in promotion was converting a household pet raised in Brooklyn and fondly known as 'Buddy' into "Gargantua the Great, mightiest monster ever captured by man; most fiendishly ferocious brute that breathes - the world's most terrifying living creature".

This is Gene Plowden's fifth book about the circus. He and Butler were close friends for 27 years.
 

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