2018 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the modern circus by the colourful character of Philip Astley.

Steve Ward reveals the stories behind the great man and his contribution to the development of that very British institution that is the Circus.

A retired teacher, Steve’s previous ‘circus’ books are Beneath the Big Top (Pen & Sword 2014) and Sawdust Sisterhood (Fonthill Media 2016).

  • In the anniversary year, read about Astley’s heroic deeds in the Seven Years War and how this influenced his presentations of trick riding
  • Find out about how Astley created the comic character of ‘Billy Buttons’
  • Discover how Astley built a circus empire that at one time stretched from Paris to Dublin
  • Uncover the cut-throat rivalry between Astley and other circus proprietors
  • Learn about disastrous fires and how Astley always rose again from the ashes

Available from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk priced £10.39

The Yorkshire Reporter has a signed copy to giveaway.

To enter go to the competition page

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