Women of the American Circus, 1880–1940

Front Cover
McFarland, Oct 26, 2012 - Performing Arts - 223 pages
3 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  - noblechicken - LibraryThing

Textbook style presentation of the subject. The scope of the book is much broader than the title, it really is all a matter of the presentation and reader expectation. If one is expecting some kind of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - IsolaBlue - LibraryThing

The title - WOMEN OF THE AMERICAN CIRCUS - seduces the reader with the promise of colorful biographies of past circus performers. One imagines many photographs, intriguing stories, and little-known ... Read full review


Media Depictions The Stories Told About Circus People
Circus Depictions The Stories Circus People Told
The Circus Comes to Town
The Women Ranked and Seen
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About the author (2012)

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

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