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ASTLEY, Philip.

Astley’s Projects, in his Management of the Horse;

rendering it Calm on the Road, in Harness, &c. Such Acquirements may prevent Dreadful Accidents. Being an Abridgement of his Popular and Most Valuable Book of Equestrian Education. To which is prefixed, many Excellent Remedies for the Diseases in Horses, &c.

Published: London: Printed by T. Burton, Sold by S. Creed, 1804

Stock code: 100132

Price: £975

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In 1768 Astley established his first “‘riding school’ in a fenced wayside field on Lambeth Marsh named Halfpenny Hatch. Styling himself the English Hussar, he promised such feats as straddling two cantering and jumping horses, doing headstands on a pint pot on the saddle, and a parody of riding by a foppish tailor” (ODNB). By the 1780s he had amphitheatres in London, Paris and Dublin, and was widely recognised as the foremost equestrian trainer and performer of the day. He also was known for his far-sighted views of the feeding and management of horses, and was one of the first subscribers to the London Veterinary School. The present work was a handy pocket-sized abridgement of his popular System of Equestrian Education, first published 1801, and proves uncommon, with just four copies on Copac (BL, Imperial College, Oxford, and Edinburgh) and OCLC adding seven, all in the US. F. W. Campbell (1782-1846), eldest son of noted Scottish traveller Donald Campbell, pursued a military career before abandoning his family estate in Argyllshire and moving to Birkfield Lodge, near Ipswich (ODNB). His daughter, Sophia Jane Campbell, married Peter Charles Burrell, the 4th Baron Gwydyr at St Mary’s, Stoke, Suffolk, in 1840. His grandfather, also named Peter Burrell, served as Master of Horse to the Prince of Wales.

Octavo (155 95 mm). Contemporary quarter calf, green marbled sides, double fillet roll forming compartments to spine gilt, titles gilt to second on red morocco label, vellum corners, marbled edges. Folding frontispiece. Armorial bookplate of Lord Gwydyr to front pastedown. Contemporary ownership inscription of F. W. Campbell of Birkfield, Ipswich stencilled to front free endpaper in black ink. Spine lightly rubbed with label fully intact, small spill-burn to frontispiece with no loss to image, negligible marking in black ink to signatures E1v and E5r. An excellent copy.

Bibliography: Altick, The Shows of London, p. 119; Smith, Early History of Veterinary Literature, II, p.134.

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