We are thrilled to announce that Elizabeth Macneal‘s second novel, Circus of Wonders, is published in Canada by Simon & Schuster Canada. This evocative story from the bestselling author of The Doll Factory explores themes of power and ownership, fame and the threat of invisibility. Publishers Weekly called it ‘colorful historical brimming with action and psychological conflict’, while The Historical Novel Society praised the Circus of Wonders as an ‘engrossing novel, which captivates from beginning to end.’  The UK edition published in 2021 with Picador and was an instant Sunday Times bestseller.

Following the journey of a young girl whose life changes forever after she is kidnapped by a Victorian circus, Circus of Wonders is the latest offering from Macneal, whose debut The Doll Factory was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the best historical fiction novels of the year in 2019 and was listed in The Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Fiction in the 2019 round-up.

Early readers of Circus of Wonders have had incredible things to say about Macneal’s latest novel:

‘Circus of Wonders is a soaring, tumbling, whip-cracking book. Elizabeth Macneal has brought an extraordinary group of characters together in these pages; the result is a glittering world, a story as moving as it is deeply entertaining’ Daniel Mason, New York Times bestselling author of The Piano Tuner 

‘A tremendous read. Richly imagined, vividly rendered, each scene is like an old painting in which light gleams off the detail…The story is full-bodied and addictive from the outset, told with pace and verve but never compromising style.’ Emma Stonex, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lamplighters 

‘You can’t help but be drawn into the exciting and sometimes macabre world of the circus, with its colourful cast of characters.’  Good Housekeeping 

‘An absolute triumph. Exquisitely written, intensely satisfying.’ Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars and The Foundling 

‘Expansive and tender . . . it really pulls you into this fascinating world.’ Beth Underdown, author of The Witchfinders Sister

We can’t wait for readers to discover the delights of the circus…

Step up, step up! In 1860s England, circus mania is sweeping the nation. Crowds jostle for a glimpse of the lion-tamers, the dazzling trapeze artists and, most thrilling of all, the so-called “human wonders.”

When Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders pitches its tent in a poor coastal town, the life of one young girl changes forever. Sold to the ringmaster as a “leopard girl” because of the birthmarks that cover her body, Nell is utterly devastated. But as she grows close to the other performers, she finds herself enchanted by the glittering freedom of the circus, and by her own role as the Queen of the Moon and Stars.

Before long, Nell’s fame spreads across the world—and with it, a chance for Jasper Jupiter to grow his own name and fortune. But what happens when her fame begins to eclipse his own, when even Jasper’s loyal brother Toby becomes captivated by Nell? No longer the quiet flower-picker, Nell knows her own place in the world, and she will fight for it.

A gorgeously wrought exploration of celebrity, power, and belonging, this is a historical novel unlike any other, with an unforgettable heroine at its heart.

Canadian readers can purchase their copy here. All our congratulations, Elizabeth, on the Canadian publication of Circus of Wonders!