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Douglas' 10 Facts About Circus

April 21st is World Circus Day and local author Douglas McPherson has come up with 10 fascinating facts about the circus. Below you can also see details of how to get £5 off his book Circus Mania.

Did You Know that

Clowns are nicknamed Joeys after Victorian pantomime star Joseph Grimaldi.
Leotards are named after their inventor, the French trapeze star Jules Leotard. 
A circus ring is exactly 42-feet in diameter.
The Yarmouth Hippodrome is Britain's oldest purpose-built circus building.
Outsiders who join the circus are nicknamed jossers.
The modern circus was invented by cavalry officer Philip Astley in 1768.
P.T. Barnum's first names were Phineas Taylor.
The original Coco the Clown was Nicolai Poliakoff.
The Chinese circus is known as 'The pearl of oriental art.'
Cirque du Soleil means 'Circus of the Sun.'


If you'd like to know more about the circus, readers can save £5 off the recommended retail price of Douglas McPherson's fully illustrated book Circus Mania by ordering it direct from Peter Owen Publishers at the special offer price of just £10 postage-free.
Send cheques to:
Peter Owen Publishers
81 Ridge Road
London N8 9NP
Or telephone: 020 8350 1775



Circus Mania - Special Book Offer

Local author Douglas McPherson (centre) with his book Circus Mania and (left to right) Gerry Cottle and Dr Haze from the Circus of Horrors. The photograph was taken at the book's launch.

Local author Douglas McPherson who lives at Wicklewood is offering visitors to this web site the chance to save £5 off the price of his book "Circus Mania."

The book has a strong local interest as it was inspired by the author's meeting with acrobat Eva Garcia just days before she fell and died during her act at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome. Dedicated to Eva's memory and the bravery of her fellow performers, Circus Mania is a behind-the-scenes journey through the world of circus from traditional big top shows to the modern spectacle of Cirque du Soleil.

The author talked to trapeze artists, sword swallowers, clowns, tiger trainers and showmen about their unique lifestyles, culture, history, superstitions and secrets. The Mail on Sunday called Circus Mania "A brilliant account of a vanishing art form" and "an excellent book" while legendary circus showman Gerry Cottle called it "A passionate and up to date look at the circus and its people."

Circus Mania is fully illustrated with colour photographs from Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, Circus of Horrors, Chinese State Circus, Great British Circus and others.

It usually retails at £14.99 but it can be bought direct from Peter Owen Publishers at the special price of £10 post free. Cheques should be sent to Peter Owen Publishers, 20 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 3QU. Please mention this web site when ordering.

Other Stories that have appeared on this site featuring Douglas McPherson

Cinder-Fella Story


There's a little bit more to debutante romantic novelist Julia Douglas than meets the eye. We can reveal that the author of Nashville Cinderella is actually a feller - Wicklewood-based journalist Douglas McPherson.
The reason for the sex change, says (Julia) Douglas is: "Romance novels are aimed at women and there's a belief in the publishing world that women prefer to buy books by women authors and men prefer books by male writers. It's why JK Rowling uses her initials - because she didn't want boys to be put off of reading a book by a woman."
Nashville Cinderella is the story of an aspiring country singer dreaming of love and fame while working as a waitress in the country music capital of Nashville, Tennessee. The book is published as a large print paperback and available to borrow from local libraries (Norfolk libraries have 13 copies) or to buy online from Amazon etc.
It's the first of four romance titles from Julia Douglas to be published this year, with the next, Closer, coming out in March.

Cindy was having doubts about recording What I’d Give. After a couple of half-hearted rehearsals, when she just couldn’t get a tight dryness out of her voice, she sat down with the legal pad containing the lyrics propped on her knees.

“You know, maybe Katie should sing this after all.”

“Yeah,” Katie agreed. “I could do a great version of that song, just thinking about Tex. What I wouldn’t give to have that guy back here with me right now!”

She hugged the cushion tighter and wriggled on the couch.

“Why don’t you just call him?” asked Cindy, as Katie’s eyes flicked towards the silent phone for the gazillionth time.

“No way!” Katie protested. “The girl should never be the first to call the guy!”

“That’s why this is such a great song,” Tony explained as he tapped a key on the keyboard and checked the recording level on the laptop. “It says all the things you girls are too proud to come out and say in real life.”

“So you guys wouldn’t be too proud to say it?” Katie challenged him sarcastically.

“Sure, we’re exactly the same,” Tony grinned. “But if love ran smooth, who’d need country songs?” 

Nashville Cinderella by Julia Douglas is published as a Linford Romance. It’s available to borrow from libraries or to buy on 0116 236 4325.

Calling 50s Fans

Calling fans of fabulous 50s fashions. Wicklewood writer Douglas McPherson, hiding behind the petticoats of his pen name Julia Douglas, has written a new My Weekly Pocket Novel set in the rockabilly scene of a Yarmouth-like seaside town. Titled Polka Dot Dreams, the shamelessly silly romcom features a bullet bra-wearing heroine, Natty Smalls, a rock'n'roll-themed ice cream parlour, a 57 Chevrolet, a Tartan-draped rockabilly band and a suspicious Scottish Teddy Boy.
With a cover date of April 5th, 2012, the pocket-sized paperback will be on the magazine racks of Tescos and Sainsburys for just two weeks only although it will hopefully be following (Julia) Douglas' country music romance Nashville Cinderella into libraries as a large print paperback at a later date.