The Circus Marches

By Robert Martin (Reginald Alec Martin)
First Published 1963 by Harrap
Illustrated by Dame Laura Knight

First edition wrapper. Click to enlarge and see full picture
First edition dustwrapper
Laura Knight
Harrap 1963
Knowing the very real interest in circuses and circus-folk, Robert Martin has presented a fascinating study of the life and training of a circus artiste who starts to learn about balance and deportment at the age when an ordinary boy or girl begins to go to school.

Johnny March, orphaned when he was five, is brought up by his kindly relatives who form the nucleus of Betterton's Circus. Being the only male in his age-group, Johnny is destined to become a trapeze artist, so that his grand-father's act, the Three Mad Marches, can be formed once again. Unfortunately Johnny has no head for heights and would far prefer to train and handle horses in his own act. "Gramp" Fenimore is unwilling to help at this stage and Johnny runs away to join another circus. He is recognised, however, and brought back to his own family, who relent and give him the horse Coronet to train.

Through Johnny and his friend Tom, Robert Martin builds up a picture of circus life, the climax of which occurs during a final performance given for children in the Big Top.

This is a "must" for all those who look forward to their annual visit to the circus.

First edition:
Harrap 1963:
Hardback, with dustwrapper; 135x202mm; red cloth with blue blocking, spine only, plain front board; 156 pages; black and white frontispiece and 7 other illustrations; dustwrapper front flap has 'blurb' reproduced above; cover price 12/6 net.

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Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup and Mike McGarry
created 23rd November 2011