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“Seeking a cure for his sadness, a man goes to a doctor in the 1820s, who suggests he pursue amusement. ‘Go see the great clown, Grimaldi,’ the doctor prescribes. ‘Alas,’ the patient replies, ‘I am Grimaldi.’ This happens to be one of my favorite anecdotes, so I’m reading Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi” (edited by Charles Dickens in 1838) to learn more about the famous clown’s heartbreak.”

Timothy Schaffert, author

of The Swan Gondola

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