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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Forgotten Fame III: Captain Herbert Clarke

Thanks to cousin, Jim Stockley, I have been able to read yet more "forgotten fame". Anyone who has read my blog for a decent period of time will know I am a particular fan of this stuff. This is why I enjoy reading work from historians like Heather Vallance and Cathy Barrett (who seek out hard to find primary source material in order to reconstruct periods from the past. It is also why I actively ferret out and oppose pseudohistory, alternative history and crackpot conspiracy theories (see my blog for more on this). There is more than enough fascinating data and lost information that can be uncovered through legitimate research.

My book "The Legend of Salt and Sauce" focuses on two elephants and their trainers that became legendary almost mythical in the circus world, a community I grew up in, but were virtually forgotten by the outside world. It made me consider other examples of even more famous events and people who also became stuck in time. This was my first post on the subject

Prompted by a response from cousin Jim again, I posted a piece on one of his favourite examples of forgotten fame

Now Jim has found an excellent blog that details a piece of history seemingly forgotten by our own community, the life and times of "Captain" Herbert Clarke. Clarke is a character not found in any of the circus encyclopaedias or anywhere else on the net, which is what prompted the author of the historical blog to write about him. What is even more amazing is that my father is an avid researcher into the history of Bostock and Wombwelle's Menagerie, the very show that booked Clarke, and this was the first time he had heard about the trainer. It just goes to show how easily the past can be forgotten even within the microcosm of the circus. Enjoy!

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