Just came across this fantastic picture of JUMBO, the Victorian elephant that PT Barnum bought from London Zoo and turned into the most famous elephant in the world. His very name became a byword for large. So next time you see a jumbo jet or eat a jumbo sausage, remember who it was named after, because before Jumbo packed his trunk and joined the Greatest Show on Earth, the world jumbo didn't exist.
But was Jumbo an alcoholic? That's apparently the contention of John Sutherland in a new book, Jumbo - The Unauthorised Biography (Aurum). I say apparently, because I haven't read it yet. But it says something about Jumbo's enduring mark on history that he has now become the subject of not one but two biographies, Paul Chambers' excellent book Jumbo - The Greatest Elephant in the World having come out just a couple of years ago.
Click here to read my review of Jumbo - The Greatest Elephant in the World by Paul Chambers.
|Me and the elephant|
Read about the always thorny subject
of animals in the circus in
by Douglas McPherson
And here's a picture
having my own jumbo moment, when I met Sonja, one of the last elephants ever to perform in a British circus. Read about my encounter with Sonja at the Great British Circus, and my backstage visits to other circuses from the Circus of Horrors to Cirque de Glace in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.
Click here to read six customer reviews of Circus Mania on Amazon.
"Circus Mania is a brilliant account of a vanishing art form." - The Mail on Sunday.