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The Wonders


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The untold story of the Victorian freak show and circus, and the remarkable cast of characters who performed in them. The Wonders will chart some of the great transformations of the age: the birth of celebrity, of showbusiness, of advertising, of 'alternative facts'.

About the Author

Dr John Woolf is a historian and researcher. He has most recently co-written the bestselling Audible book Victorian Secrets with Stephen Fry and is currently working on a new screenplay set in the Victorian circus for the makers of Downton Abbey. Having read history at the University of Cambridge John went on to obtain a PhD on nineteenth-century freak shows. Since then John has developed the BBC4 series The Real Tom Thumb: History's Smallest Superstar, been featured in the BBC4 documentary Dwarfs in Art and was assistant producer for Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled, also for BBC4 and narrated by A. N. Wilson. In 2017 The Wonders was awarded the Biographers Club Tony Lothian Prize for the best proposal for an uncommissioned first biography.

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