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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

Chapter 10 - Men, Women and Horses: Public Spectacle in 1887


This essay considers some of the spectacular events of 1887, ranging from Queen Victoria’s Jubilee procession in June to the ‘Bloody Sunday’ protests in November, taking in the opening of the People’s Palace, the Lord Mayor’s Day parade, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the Military Tournament and the Hippodrome Circus. It notes the construction in the same year of two large venues designed for the production of visual entertainments (Earls Court and Olympia) and asks what constituted ‘spectacle’ at this time. A brief coda examines the ways in which the spectacles of 1887 were represented in the works of three writers: George Gissing, Margaret Harkness and William Morris.