The Circus

The Circus


Feats of derring-do! Amazing acrobats! Clowns both ridiculous and poignant! Majestic animals from around the world!

For centuries, the circus has transported audiences to an enthralling in-between place: a version of our world where gravity seems to disappear and everything sparkles with glitter.

The circus welcomed almost all comers who could earn their keep. Ordinary people in search of adventure could literally run away with the circus. And talented misfits found a home where what made them different made them special. They all came together to form a family that traveled the world, leaving spangly dreams in their wake.

Life in the circus was a unique combination of hard work and glamour, celebrity and disdain, excitement and ennui, with a hierarchy that ranged from the top (trapeze artists) to the bottom (roustabouts). But when the crowds departed, and the spotlights dimmed for the night, most of the performers were also responsible for tasks that didn’t inspire applause: caring for animals, packing up wagons, training and stretching, cooking and cleaning.

our podcast

In this episode, we go behind the greasepaint and red velvet curtains to get curious about the circus. We discuss the larger-than-life characters who created the modern circus and explain what’s happening in the world of new circus and theater. Then we share the many books that confirmed our desire to run away with the circus, including enthralling novels, spine-tingling nonfiction, and an art book full of eye candy.

recommended books

The Book of Speculation

buy | read review

The Circus Fire

buy | read review

The Circus

buy | read review

The Gracekeepers

buy | read review

Miraculum

buy | read review

The Night Circus

buy | read review

Nights At The Circus

buy | read review

Nights At The Circus

buy | read review

Under the Big Top

buy | read review

featured posts

The circus is an enchanted place where people can fly and a big red nose is a happy sight. Where the smell of popcorn and peanuts mingles with sawdust. Where the unimaginable becomes completely possible before our eyes.
This weekend, time travel to a 1920s Texas circus: Pontilliar's Spectacular Star Light Miraculum. Step right up to meet Ruby, the tattooed snake charmer who'll steal your heart while she saves the world.
The enticing aroma and salty-sweet crunch of caramel popcorn is literally the taste of the circus. You can easily make a batch in about half an hour — plenty of time to escape into the magic of 'The Night Circus.'
If you've ever daydreamed about running away with the circus, this post is for you. Take a dazzling virtual tour of the world with these circuses from Canada to Europe, Africa to Australia, and everywhere in between.

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Top image courtesy of ckturistando/Unsplash.

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