A4 – full
colour throughout – 250 colour illustrations – 128pp – colour paper
Every week, a travelling circus
arrives in a new town. Its advance publicity team has just a few
weeks to tell people about the show - the venue, dates, times,
prices, how good it is - and to persuade them to book tickets.
Colourful posters have consistently been the main way of publicising
This book contains 250 posters from
170 years of circus in Britain:
• the 19th century, from Astley and
Ducrow to the Sangers
• the early 20th century - Broncho Bill, the Great Carmo, Chapman,
and the Quality Show, Bertram Mills Circus
• Permanent circuses at Blackpool Tower and Great Yarmouth
• Circuses in halls and on the stage
• the boom after World War Two, leading to the rise of Chipperfields
and Billy Smart, circuses to rival Bertram Mills - the “Big Three”
of the 1950s and 60s
• the long-established Sir Robert Fossett’s - and the growth of
Robert Brothers’ Circus
• the rise of a new generation of proprietors in the 1970s - Gerry
Cottle, the Austen Brothers, the Mack family’s Circus Hoffman and
• in the 21st century, Zippos has developed its own style and the
European Entertainment Corporation tours the Moscow and Chinese
State Circuses with great success.
All these circuses and many others
are included in this book, providing a feast of inspired and
exciting artwork as well as indicating how circuses and circus
posters have changed.
About the authors
David Jamieson is the editor
of King Pole, published by the Circus Friends Association, and the
author of several circus books.
Malcolm Clay was the
archivist of the Circus Friends Association, and also secretary of
the Association of Circus Proprietors.