Second Stop: Bartholomew Fair

                               Rudolf Ackermann, Bartholomew Fair, from Microcosm of London (1808)

Hello again friends! Here we are at the Bartholomew Fair. Today is August 24, and as this is the first day of the fair, we should be in for a treat. William Wordsworth described the Bartholomew Fair as a "Parliament of Monsters" filled with "Albinos, painted Indians, Dwarfs...the Horse of knowledge...the Invisible Girl...and puppet shows, as well as musicians playing the hurdy-gurdy, the fiddle, the kettledrum, and the trumpet [1]. I'm sure we will see some of the same sights Wordsworth did, however I might find it necessary to avert my eyes as some of these creatures shall surely offend my delicate nature!
Let us wander the grounds slowly, as the fair lasts three days (the fair lasted fourteen days until 1708) and I do hope we will take in all of the sights and sounds. So lest you hope to get bored quickly, make sure to pay detailed attention to each exhibit, as the Bartholomew Fair has something for everyone!



As you can see by looking at some of the appalling booths, like the peep show booth, almost any vendor can get a liscense at the Bartholomew Fair. The Fair is the largest in size in England and in my opinion it has become overrun by prostitution and crime because of its size, but it is still a sight to see indeed. Everyone within ten miles comes to the Bartholomew Fair, regardless of social class status. Yet, it seems the upper class and royalty have decided to frequent the Fair less and less over the last few years. However, anything you could ever eat, want, or even see across all of England you can find at the Fair. You may even see some things you never thought were possible, like the 8 foot tall woman, and a few things you might never want to see like the three breasted lady.




Next Stop: The Sights and Sounds of 18th Century Fairs!!

Bartholomew Fair 2001 Flyer

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