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Old 01-08-2020, 05:01 PM
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It was an actual bear skin, as I remember, not just a manufactured costume, so maybe that adds to the verisimilitude? Maybe? A little?

But I also think there's another plausible explanation. People at the time were probably used to seeing traveling performing animals, and maybe some, or even most, of those "animals" were actually people in skins/costumes. It might be that all "dancing bears" looked a little bit fake, and that's what people would expect to see, so the costume would work.

Maybe somewhat dubious. But possible.

How do you get a tall, blond-haired, rosy-complexioned, stout Englishman through miles and miles of countryside where he can't be recognized for who he is? Maybe you don't actually disguise him as a bear, but as some poor schlemiel whose only way to make a living is to go around in a bear costume. Even if people pretty much knew he was a guy a costume, they wouldn't think of him as a Royal Navy officer in a costume.

(Or maybe I should tell that to the marines; the old sailors will never believe it)
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:21 PM
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All I could think of was Cosmo Allegretti in the role of Dancing Bear on Captain Kangaroo.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:34 PM
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Also though of obligatory Tim Minchin reference.
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