• P.T. Barnum

    Larger than life barker. A mountebank, charlatan, liar and arch-marketeer, P.T. Barnum is perhaps history's most famous circus proprietor, the owner, along with James Anthony Bailey, of Barnum & Bailey Circus. Because so much of what was written about Barnum was led or instigated by his own vast and diabolical PR machine it's hard to tell where the fact ends and the fiction begins – exactly the way he would have wanted it. Alongside the several available biographies, though, Paul Chambers' Jumbo: The Greatest Elephant in the World proves an interesting case study of one of Barnum's gambits – the acquisition, for $10,000, of the world's largest elephant.