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THE CIRCUS 1870s-1950s December 26, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     If you know anyone who is a big fan of the circus, sideshow freaks, acrobats, or history in general, this is a must-have book. This lavishly illustrated coffee table volume is a treasure trove of the people and animals who performed in the circus, and it gives rare back-scene glimpses into their nomadic lives and family units. Through this book, one will discover some performers who have sunk into obscurity, and wonder why they aren’t better known. How could Booptee the antlered pin-up girl, Eko and Iko the ambassadors from Mars, and the amazing Maggie Udder not be household names to this day?
     This book allows the reader to make fascinating discoveries about a pastime that worked its magic so well it continued to linger in the dreams of all the people who witnessed its marvels. Who hasn’t wanted, at one time or another, to run away and join the circus?

     The cover I found for the book is different from the one on mine, but it matters little. All the photos and illustrations are breathtaking works of art.  The book is broken down into an introduction, a history of worldwide circus roots, wonders of the world, Venuses of the age and the emancipation of the female performers, strange beasts from foreign lands, circus acts, eating fire and throwing knives, the tent city backstage life of the performers, and risking life and limb for the crowd. Whether this book is read from cover to cover or simply browsed through it, it will delight everyone who picks it up. It has reignited my childhood urge to chuck it all, change my name to The Amazing Libroona, and wear nothing but feathered headdresses and sequins for the rest of my life. It will do the same to all of you. Ta!Da!

     Thank you Charles, for a truly fantastic Christmas present!!



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