Showfolk Cover

An Oral History of a Fairground Dynasty
By Frank Bruce

Publisher: NMS Enterprises Ltd. with the European Ethnological Research Centre
ISBN 13: 978-1-905267-45-3
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 43 black and white illustrations.
Price: $14.95
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•A great history of circus and fairground life told with personal stories
•Wonderful photos

This is the oral history story of Frank Codona and his family - a fairground dynasty that lasted for over 200 years. As circus performers, the troupe were applauded from the British Isles to Hawaii.

No matter your language or cultural persuasion, the magic draw of the circus and fair we felt when we were children stays with us well into adulthood. For buffs of the subject, this book will not only prove delightful but it fills in important gaps in the history of the theme.

In this personal story of the family fortunes of the Frank Codona family, we see how they reached the top of their profession. The story of the celebrated Scottish fair and circus performers is told mostly in their own words.

This oral history includes such as - the familiar faces found at fairs; the pleasures of the circus city; the 'geggies' (canvas and wood circus tents); gallopers (carousel horses); and, 'ghost' shows (developed from magic lantern shows and precursors of moving pictures on big screens at fairgrounds). Included are a family tree of the Codonas, glossary and bibliography. Many of the photos have not been seen before.

The European Ethnological Research Centre (EERC) is an independent unit within Celtic & Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Frank Bruce is also the author of Scottish Showbusiness: Music Hall, Variety and Pantomime published by NMS Enterprises Ltd.

Professor Emeritus Alexander Fenton is General editor of the Flashback series.

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