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Perils Book showing front (no background

In Victorian times the performing space, be it stage, music hall platform, or circus ring could be as dangerous as mine, mill or factory. Behind the spectacle and splendour lurked disaster, destitution and death.  Falling scenery, open trapdoors, collapsing rostrums, explosions and fire were everyday hazards as was the excessive use of guns, swords and knives. Surprisingly, female dancers were major sufferers as their flimsy costumes were prone to catching fire – 160 such cases with some 40+ fatalities. 

            Circus acts were hugely popular especially when performed by young children, while high-wire walkers like Blondin the ‘Hero of Niagara’ inspired lesser artistes to attempt stunts beyond their capabilities. Mid-century, Léotard invented the flying trapeze and from that moment artistes risked their lives to outdo whatever had gone before. This book is a miscellany of life-threatening dangers and fatal accidents during performance to acrobats, magicians, variety acts etc, as well as singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, and a plethora of actors and actresses. 

Review from King Pole Magazine of the Circus Friends Association
A  valuable source . . . read through or dip into . . . It is eclectic. Falling scenery, trap doors left open, misapplied swords and untold damage from supposedly unloaded guns . . .  a scary section recording a ghastly number of female costumes catching fire. . . .Not content with revealing an astronomical number of stage accidents, many of them fatal, the authors have twinned this volume with Jeopardy within the Victorian Theatre. . . accidents backstage and in the auditorium.    
                                                     FROM THE REVIEW IN CALL BOY  Magazine of the British Music Hall Society
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ISBN 978-0-9565013-8-7


Paperback 224 pages       160 illustrations


Recommended Retail Price UK    £11.95

                                          USA $15.95

                                           EU   €13.95

               DO NOT PAY MORE THAN THE





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