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Ever read a Regency romance involving a visit to Astley’s Amphitheater? My good friend and Regency novelist Susana Ellis has written this wonderful post about the life of Philip Astley and his equestrian show. Check it out:

amphitheatre

Early Life

Philip Astley was born in Staffordshire (about 150 miles from London) on January 8, 1742. When he was around eleven years old, his family moved to London, where his father had a carpentry shop near Westminster Bridge. In 1759, he went to be trained in horsemanship in Wilton at Lord Pembroke’s estate, where he showed extraordinary promise. Soon after, in search of excitement, he left his family and joined a regiment of light dragoons called Eliot’s Light Horse, later the 15th Light Hussars.

Astley’s Military Service

Astley was assigned to care for and train the horses to be “bomb-proof”, i.e., not to take off in fear at the sound of gunshot.

Read the rest of the article at Susana’s Parlour.

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