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First and only Dutch edition of the autobiography of P.T. Barnum (1810 – 1891), American showman and politician, best remembered as the founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus.


Barnum began his career as a showman, exploiting Joice Heth, a blind and paralyzed woman. In 1841 he established Barnum's American Museum, which offered extraordinary and educational entertainment. Exhibiting the little person Charles Stratton, better known as "General Tom Thumb" brought him international fame. As did the American tour of Swedish opera star Jenny Lind, which Barnum promoted, netting some $500,000.


But Barnum probably owes his lasting fame to the establishment of the Barnum & Bailey circus, an adventure on which he embarked only in 1870, when he was already 60 years old.


The original edition of his autobiography was published in 1854. Although Barnum strongly exaggerated the sales figures, claiming that he sold nearly half a million copies, the book appears to have been quite successful. Barnum kept revising and adding to the text until the year of his death, resulting in the publications of several different editions.


This Dutch edition rarely comes on the market. The bibliographical make up is odd: it opens with pages 304-466, followed by pages 1-160.

Dutch edition of the autobiography of famous showman P.T. Barnum

€ 325,00Price
  • Phineas Taylor Barnum.

    Leven en Avonturen van P.T. Barnum, vroeger Directeur van den Schouburg te New York, zijne uitgestrekte ondernemingen en kunst-reizen met Jenny Lind, Tom Thumb etc. Door hem-zelven beschreven. Met platen.

    Rotterdam, H. Nijgh, 1856.

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