Monday, October 12, 2015

Astley's Amphitheatre: What's Playing in October 1811

Monday, October 12, 2015
Astley's, from the Microcosm
Loretta reports:

In my third Dressmakers book, Vixen in Velvet, the hero takes the heroine to Astley’s Royal Circus. For the performance, I used descriptions from the 1830s, when Andrew Ducrow was manager, and Miss Woolford was the beloved equestrienne.

This critique below of an Astley’s performance comes from a generation earlier, when King George IV was the Prince Regent. It’s the sort of show Jane Austen might have seen.
Astley's Show 1811

You can learn more about Astley’s here at Jane Austen’s World as well as at the Victoria and Albert Museum, whose account of Astley’s covers Andrew Ducrow’s and Miss Woolford’s time as well as the interesting story of a famous equestrienne of the Victorian era.

Astley's Show 1811
As always, the blog Spitalfields Life has a larger, crisper, more beautifully colored version of the above illustration (please scroll down) from Ackermann’s Microcosm of London, originally published in 1808-10.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


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