If you've ever dreamed of running away to join the circus, then these amazing color photos of showgirls and other female performers from the 1940s and 1950s might just be the push you need.

Of course, you might be disappointed when you get there. Life of a modern circus performer is most certainly different than the lives of the men and women who fill the pages of The Circus Book, which is where the images come from. Even so, the book is certain to awaken your inner child and tempt you, at least for a minute, to reconsider your fantasy of living life as a tight rope walker, lion tamer or circus clown.