Circus and Nation

Circus and Nation : The Saga of a Circus in Australia

  • Hardback

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Circus has been a part of much of the history of modern Australia, pre-dating even the volatile gold-rush period of the 1850s. Whether perceived as a part of Australia's social history, as a part of its popular culture, as a surrogate indicator of its economic development, or all of these, the study of Australia's circus past is both bewildering and compelling. In Circus and Nation, Mark St Leon presents the fruits of many years of inquiry, to explain and illustrate how and why the circus arts developed as they have in Australia over a period of some 175 years. Today, circus in Australia enjoys a renaissance after several decades of marginalisation in the wake of the extraordinary advances that have taken place in electronic entertainment. There appears to be no specific reason for this rebirth other than the timelessness of the circus arts and the irrepressible freedom, energy and optimism of circus that, coincidentally or not, reflect some of Australia's most cherished human more

Product details

  • Hardback
  • Melbourne University Press
  • Carlton, Australia
  • 0522856217
  • 9780522856217

Author information

Mark St Leon is a direct descendant of the St Leons, one of Australia's most prominent circus families from 1847 to the 1950s. Mark has devoted many years to the documentation of his family's history in the circus and Australia's circus history generally. He has been widely published in this more