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Circus in Africa

The Boswells: The Story of a South African Circus

“What follows is the story of a circus family – one whose origins go back to the time of Astley and the early days of the Circus in England. The Boswells, as will be seen, have evolved from the great English circus families. Fate decreed that they transport their talents – sailing in 1911 with six ponies, a donkey and dogs – to a new continent and country. First performing in Johannesburg, a booming gold rush town, they survived war times, epidemics, and the availability of new forms of mass entertainment. The history of the Boswell family affords a fascinating glimpse of the adaptive nature of Circus and the development of South Africa.”

— Charles Ricketts, 2003

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