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Harriet Smith Went Where with Robert Martin? — 14 Comments

  1. That was fascinating! I had never heard of any of it before, or some but just in very general terms. Thank you so much for sharing this with us and including those pictures.

    • I mentioned Astley’s in An Unwavering Trust, but I think that scene was cut out before the final edits. When I had the idea of highlighting a theatre for this post, that one immediately came to mind. The fact that it was mentioned in Emma was icing on the cake! I’m glad you found it interesting. Thanks, Evelyn!

  2. Love the history and the pictures. Quite fascinating that the 42 foot ring made the centrifugal force optimum to help the trick rider balance on the horse’s back. Thank you for sharing.

    • I would never have thought that the ring size had an impact! It does make sense since the horse would have to lean a bit further in to make a tighter turn. I used to pull stunts on my horse when I was young, but I never thought of standing. Not that riding backwards in the saddle at a full gallop was any better. 🙂 Thanks, Deborah!

  3. Great post Leslie. I have read of Astleys in Georgette Heyer books but love all the details you have given. I think I would have preferred the plays and pantomimes as I am not too fond of circuses but it must have been a marvellous spectacle at the time. Thanks again 😊

    • I read a bit about Astley’s when I wrote An Unwavering Trust since I had a scene where it was mentioned (I think it ended up edited out.). It always is nice to research these topics though. Makes it easier the next time I want to mention it! I’m just glad you enjoyed learning the same thing I did! Thanks, Glynis!

  4. Actually, Robert Martin did not propose again at Astley’s (such a noisy, crowded spot would hardly have been the right place to do so), but the next evening when he was invited by John and Isabella to join them for dinner.

    “They were going to take the two eldest boys to Astley’s. The party was to be our brother and sister, Henry, John — and Miss Smith. My friend Robert could not resist. They called for him in their way; were all extremely amused; and my brother asked him to dine with them the next day, which he did, and in the course of that visit (as I understand) he found an opportunity of speaking to Harriet; and certainly did not speak in vain.”

    • I completely missed the dinner when I read back over it to write this! Oops! I’ll make the changes to correct the post. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 🙂

  5. Wonderful! I knew that Astley’s had horse shows from reading Regency romances in my teens, but I didn’t know this much about it. Thank you for filling in the blanks and providing the images; I especially love old advertising posters! 🙂

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    • I’m so glad I was able to fill in those blanks! I love old advertising posters as well. The only true textbook I kept from my art degree was one on the history of graphic design. It had plates with some of the best old posters. I especially like the French posters for Absinthe. Some of the Art Nouveau ones are really beautiful. Thanks, Susanne!

  6. Going through my pile up of email, I found and much enjoyed reading about Astley’s. I’ve filed away the information for my next reading of “Emma”. Happy Autumn to all, Roberta

    • I haven’t read Emma in so long. I agree that it will be fun to remember this the next time I pick it up. I hope it adds to the enjoyment the next time you give Emma a look! Happy Autumn to you too! Thanks, Roberta!

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