Poole's Myriorama
by
Hudson John Powell
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ISBN Number: 1 90334182 5
Format:
Paperback
Number of Pages:
224
Publication Date:
2002
Publisher:
ELSP

In 1848 Moses Gompertz, a talented dioramic artist and travelling panorama showman, employed the brothers Charles and George Walter Poole as musicians. In 1863, following the phenomenal success of John Henry Pepper's ghost show at the Polytechnic Institution, the Poole brothers and Anthony Young set themselves up as proprietors of panoramas. A 'second feature' of their shows was Pepper's Ghost. Their entertainments developed into highly successful spectral opera shows. From July 1878, nephews of the original Poole showmen continued the panoramas and dioramas which, when combined with variety acts, were eventually called myrioramas. Their children expanded the business to include cinema from its earliest days.

Drawing strongly on contemporary sources and illustrated with over 50 pictures, this book provides an authoritative account of the history of the showmen and their contemporaries.

About the author

After retiring as a schoolteacher, John Powell found time to research his family history. Starting with a few faded newspaper cuttings from the Stroud News and Journal and following many visits to county record offices and family history centres he eventually discovered the relationship of his paternal grandmother to the Poole myriorama showmen. The discovery of a scrapbook compiled by a manager of the myriorama shows shed new light on the activities of the showmen and enabled this book to be written.

Reviews

"...Poole's Myriorama is a well-researched and information-rich account of the last famous practitioners of this type of entertainment, and particularly valuable for its inclusion of unique detail of the working mechanism and effects of the Poole panoramas."
Theatre Notebook, Volume 58, Number 2

 

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