Showfolk: An Oral History of a Fairground Dynasty
by Frank Bruce
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ISBN Number: 9781905267453
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Publication Date: 2010
Publisher: NMS Enterprises Ltd

The story of  Frank Codona and his family - a fairground dynasty that has lasted for over two hundred years in Scotland, told mostly in their own words. A newspaper article in 1954 was headed 'Codona; the royal family of the fairground' but because of inter-marriage their story parallels and is intertwined with that of other circus and fairground families.
 
Travelling showfolk have been entertaining Scots for centuries and a visit to ‘the shows’ was a highlight of the year until recent memory. The Codonas are one of the longest and most established show families, having arrived from the continent in the late eighteenth century. Using original research Showfolk draws on interviews from three generations to give a vivid and richly anecdotal account of this ever-changing world enhanced by many previously unseen illustrations.

The interviews have been kept intact as much as possible, to keep the flow of overlapping individual life stories but are organised chronologically from the 1890s, when it enters living memory, up to the present. The hundred years from 1790 are described in a lively introduction including many first-hand accounts and following the family fortunes in the United Kingdom, the United States where members reached the top of the circus profession and as far afield as Hawaii.
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