Philip Astley and the Horsemen Who Invented the Circus
In this fascinating and carefully researched book, Dominique Jando tells us when, why and how the former sergeant-major of a British Hussars regiment created the most universal form of entertainment, the Circus. It was not a chance occurrence: the place, the times and the social context, all led to this pivotal moment. Philip Astley became England's greatest showman, but if he was indeed a visionary, he was not a lone experimentalist: immediately, other equestrians followed his example and participated in the development and expansion of the circus in Europe and the Americas. This is the story, too, of these extraordinary and colorful pioneers who were Astley's contemporaries, whether pupils, competitors or colleagues: Charles Hughes, John Bill Ricketts, Philip Lailson, Antonio Franconi and a few others-including Astley's own son, John Conway Astley. Relying in large part on their contemporaries' testimony, Dominique Jando places these pioneers back in their historical and social context, as well as in the often-overlooked context of the nascent show business of the late eighteenth century-principally in Great Britain, but also in Europe and in America.
- 152 x 229 x 14mm | 373g
- 03 Feb 2018
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- Illustrations, black and white
About Dominique Jando
Born in Paris, France, Dominique Jando made his debut in a circus ring as a clown at the legendary Cirque Medrano in Paris. He later pursued a career in the theater and the circus before coming to the United States, where he served as Associate Artistic Director of New York's Big Apple Circus for twenty years. He is vice-president and artistic director of Lone Star Circus in Dallas, Texas, and the co-founder and curator of Circopedia.org, an online encyclopedia of the international circus. He has published several books on the history of the circus, variety and clowns in both Europe and in the United States and written numerous articles for magazines around the world. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Elena Panova, and their cats, Minoushka and Polina.