Father of the Modern Circus 'Billy Buttons'

The Life & Times of Philip Astley
Product Number: EB00755709
Released: Mar 08, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781526706898
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books
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Description

The true story of a larger-than-life man who changed the world of entertainment in eighteenth-century England. The world of the circus has a long and colorful history, but it was with a man named Philip Astley that the modern circus was founded. In April 1768, Astley pegged out a circular ride on the banks of the river Thames and gave performances of trick riding to a paying audience. He was an accomplished horseman, a military hero, and an instinctive showman. Above all, he was an entrepreneur who realized that people would pay good money to be entertained and to be entertained well. He created the comic character Billy Buttons, and other acts were added to his performances: clowns, rope dancers, tumblers, and strongmen. The circus, as we might recognize it today, was born. This book investigates the life and times of this veritable giant of the circus world. Standing well over six feet tall, with a stentorian voice and character to match, he was difficult to ignore. From his early days as an apprentice cabinetmaker and his military exploits in the 15th Dragoons to the trials and tribulations of establishing himself as a respected performer and his international successes in France and Ireland, this is a detailed account of the larger-than-life figure that was Philip Astley.

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Author(s): Steve Ward
Original Publish Date: Apr 30, 2018

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