Going to see an Artificial Human Skeleton adopt 36 different Attitudes, and an automaton snake crawl around a roaring automaton lion, was just another night out in Launceston in 1844.

 Read about it in my chapter ‘“Attractive Novelties”: Spectacular Innovation and the Making of a New Kind of Audience within Colonial Modernity’, in the newly published book, edited by Anna-Sophie Jürgens and Mirjam Hildbrand, Circus and the Avant-Gardes: History, Imaginary, Innovation. I also discuss waxworks and spectral illusions. The whole book’s good. You can rent it from Routledge at a mere $35.50.

Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston), 28 February 1844, 4

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