Women of the American Circus, 1880–1940

Front Cover
McFarland, Oct 16, 2012 - Performing Arts - 223 pages
7 Reviews
During the years 1880 to 1940, the glory days of the American circus, a third to a half of the cast members were women—a large group of very visible American workers whose story needs telling. This book, using sources such as diaries, autobiographies, newspaper accounts, films, posters, and route books, first considers the popular media’s presentation of these performers as unnatural and scandalous—as well as romantic and thrilling. Next are the stories told by circus women, which contradict and complicate other versions of their lives. Across America in those years an array of acts featured women, such as tableaux, freak shows, girlie shows, tiger acts, and aerial performances, all involving special skills and all detailed here. The book offers a unique and fascinating view of not just the circus but of what it meant to be an American woman at work.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mrsfiskeandco - LibraryThing

The concept of WOMEN OF THE AMERICAN CIRCUS 1880-1940 is an interesting idea, a look at women in that era of few "working women" made a career for themselves under the big top (indeed, women only had ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - karenweyant - LibraryThing

Women of the American Circus, 1880 - 1940 is an overview of life under the Big Top. While the title can be a bit misleading (many readers may be disappointed to find out that the book does not include ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
1
Introduction
2
Media Depictions The Stories Told About Circus People
19
Circus Depictions The Stories Circus People Told
59
The Circus Comes to Town
93
The Women Ranked and Seen
123
Conclusion
193
Works Cited
195
Index
205
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Katherine H. Adams is the Hutchinson Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans. The late Michael L. Keene was a professor emeritus of English at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

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