Synopses & Reviews
A history of the circus from its origins in the Roman times, through its establishment in Western Europe, and to the modern day circusabsolutely diverse and captivating Circuses have existed since Roman times, but centuries later, the circus world has never been more diverse and captivating, the global success of Cirque du Soleil testament to its enduring and universal appeal. Traditional family circuses for kids, arty cirque-style shows for adults, circuses in tents or in theaters, circuses with animals or without, cabaret-style hybrids on the burlesque circuitthis is an expert guide to their extraordinary history and culture. The circus requires a unique type of performer, people who blend the discipline of sports stars with the razzmatazz of showbiz; itinerant but clannish entertainers who have often had circus blood in their families for generations; world class gymnasts who risk death twice daily and help take down the big top afterwards. This history offers a journey into this unique world, each chapter an access-all-areas pass to a different circus, talking to the trapeze flyers, clowns, animal trainers, and showmen about their lives, work, families, customs, and traditions.
"This lively, fact-filled, well-researched guide to circus history, tradition and culture pulls back the curtains and takes readers inside the teeming world of trapeze daredevils, clowns, animal handlers and other performers with centuries of "circus blood" coursing in their veins." —Publishers Weekly
". . . Full of stories and anecdotes that give readers a good sense of the thrills and dangers associated with the big top." —Booklist
"As an overview of the circus in Great Britain, it has value in illustrating a diverse entertainment tradition that may be unfamiliar to Americans." —White Tops
About the Author
Douglas McPherson is a journalist specializing in entertainment, writing regularly for the Daily Telegraph, the Stage, and My Weekly.