The Golden Age of the Circus
by
Howard Loxton
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ISBN Number: 1840130202
Format:
Hardback
Number of Pages:
111
Publication Date:
1997
Publisher:
Regency House Publishing

'The 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.

There 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.

Nothing 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.
 

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