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Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo?
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About the Book

In this nostalgic introduction to twenty-six famous circus performers of the early ninteenth century, Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? reveals historical truths about the fantastical exhibition. Pithy rhymes, vintage poster-like art, and distinctive typography (all in an alphabetical structure) show what the circus was like in the days when entire towns would shut down to see it. From the "awesome" and "boastful" to the "wicked" and "vile," these colorful posters of circus performers illustrate the air of anticipation that swept through towns as they waited for the circus to arrive.

Was the Fiji mermaid real? Did Houdini really escape from his confinements? Could the strongman really lift 4,337 pounds? Carlyn Beccia's research into the history of the circus gives us real-life factoids about the performers, providing a contrast to the outlandish claims of the illustrations. Fascinating sidebars weave in the circus origins of such common American phrases as "hold your horses" and "top billing."

So prepare to be amazed and astounded! Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? not only presents what it is like to be different — it shows us what it means to be truly spectacular.


About the Author

The never-before-seen Carlyn Beccia has always been fascinated by vintage circus advertisements. Her grandfather set type for a living, and Carlyn would page through his type books and study the careful way he drew letterforms. Her own circus career began with a human-cannonball act, tried on her younger sister. But when Carlyn catapulted her into a bureau, that career quickly ended.



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