The Greatest Shows on Earth: A History of the Circus

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A history of the circus that is as enchanting as a night at the big-top itself.

 

The Greatest Shows on Earth takes us from eighteenth-century hippodromes in Britain to intimate one-ring circuses in nineteenth-century Paris, where Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso became enchanted by aerialists and clowns. We meet P. T. Barnum, James Bailey and the enterprising Ringling Brothers, who created the golden age of American circuses.

We explore contemporary transformations of the circus, from the whimsical Circus Oz in Australia to New York City’s Big Apple Circus. Circus people are central to the story: trick riders and tightrope walkers, sword swallowers and animal trainers, contortionists and clowns – these are the men and women who create the sensational, raucous, titillating and incomparable world of the circus.

 

Beautifully illustrated, rich in historical detail and full of colourful anecdotes, Linda Simon’s vibrant history is as enchanting as a night at the big-top itself.

FormatPaperback
Published1 April 2023
PublisherReaktion Books
ISBN9781789147032
Dimensions220 mm x 170 mm
Pages296 pages
Illustrations136 illustrations, 87 in colour
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