Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show opens London's Earl Court in 1887

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John Springhall, last updated: 6th January 2008

‘It is often said on the other side of the water that none of the exhibitions which we send to England are purely and distinctively American', exhorted Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) in an unsolicited letter of September 1884 to ‘Colonel' William Frederick Cody (1846-1917). ‘If you will take the Wild West show over there, you can remove that reproach'. Following the advice of such an eminent fan, the charismatic showman known as ‘Buffalo Bill' in due course became a huge success on his first visit to London. For the pioneer of the Earls Court exhibition grounds, Yorkshire entrepreneur John R. Whitley (1843-1922), had been so impressed...

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