Greatest Show on Earth!' That's what P.T.
Barnum called the circus. He meant his
own circus, of course, and Barnum was
the greatest ever exponent of
ticket-selling hype, but it is true. The
circus, in all its variety, surely is
the greatest show on earth. Where else
can you experience physical thrills,
music, dance, pathos, slapstick, subtle
humour, sleight-of-hand, amazing feats,
acrobatic skills, fine horsemanship, not
to mention performing animals and in
former times at least, human 'freaks'?
And all in one show, with perhaps a
knife thrower, a Shakespearean soliloquy
or a re-creation of an ancient Roman
chariot race thrown in. You may not see
all those acts in the circuses of today
but you will see an enormously varied
entertainment of skills and showmanship,
thrills and laughter, chutzpah and
charivari that nothing else can offer.
have been many changes in recent years,
brought about by economics, changing
attitudes to animals and the competition
of electronic entertainments. Indeed,
you can watch circus on television, but
to experience it properly you need to be
sitting by the ring, knowing that the
performers are doing this for you,
seeing the bright lights turn tinsel
into glittering gold, feeling the other
spectators hold their breath, smelling
the sawdust (and the sweat) and maybe
letting the clown make a fool of you.
can take the place of being there, no
film or video, nor indeed a book.
Nevertheless, we hope to capture here
something of the circus atmosphere, to
recount its history and celebrate some
of its great performers - human and
animal. So watch the parade and roll up
to the big top for the show. We
guarantee a ringside seat.
Condition: Very gopd condition
in very good unclipped (but creased on edges) dust jacket.