This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
US
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Books

FATHER OF THE MODERN CIRCUS ‘BILLY BUTTONS’: THE LIFE & TIMES OF PHILIP ASTLEY

Review & Q&A

A war hero & showman

You may never heard of Philip Astley but, after 250 years, his name could be about to return to the big time. In April 1768, this remarkably skilled equestrian, a celebrated ex-soldier who had fought in the Seven Years’ War, pegged out a 42ft ring and first invited paying audiences to watch him perform trick riding, essentially founding the modern circus. Astley created the comic character of Billy Buttons and for 30 years brought together all kinds of circus performers to entertain generations of our ancestors. In his new book, genealogist and circus expert Steve Ward investigates the life and times of this extraordinary man, in all his 6ft, larger-than-life glory, bringing his largely forgotten story back in the public arena. With the uncovering of new biographical information, and set in a turbulent time in British history, this book is as educational as it is entertaining, as we step back into the early days of the endlessly magical circus.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Family Tree - May 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - May 2018
$4.99
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.77 per issue
SAVE
45%
$35.99
Or 3599 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.54 per issue
SAVE
23%
$22.99
Or 2299 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.68 per issue
SAVE
20%
$3.99
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Family Tree

Where are you going to take your family history this spring? From planning a trip to The National Archives to a meander down memory lane, there are so many choices... I bet there are few among us whose hearts don’t gladden when spring is in the air, and this issue we’ve got all sorts of ideas to help you get out and about and enjoying your family history. Whether you’re going to pay a visit to the archives, or plan a day out or weekend away to the places where your family once came from, it’s sure to add so much to what you know about your ancestors’ lives. It’s definitely true – the more we look, the more we learn. Have fun!