Anthony Mario Ludovici (1882–1971), English translator and author, and pupil of F. M. Alexander.
Ludovici began as an artist and illustrator of books and was at one point secretary to Auguste Rodin. Ludovici translated six volumes of Nietzsche’s philosophy, on which he also lectured. He served in WWI and became Captain in the Royal Field Artillery. The elitist aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy doubtlessly inﬂuenced Ludovici’s work, which argues for the inherent inequality of human beings, the natural subordination of women, some form of practised eugenics in the light of the degeneration of the race, preferred aristocracy rule over democracy. Examples are seen in A Defence of Aristocracy (1915), The False Assumption of Democracy (1921), The Specious Origins of Liberalism (1967). His unpublished memoirs is titled ‘Confessions of an Anti-Feminist’. He was a freemason of the English Mistery, the members of which believe that England and the English race are degenerating due to moral and religious decadence. Ludovici wrote seven novels and 27 non-ﬁction works; although they dealt with various subjects, almost all of them were connected with the aforementioned themes. Because of his right-wing views (and possibly because he met Adolf Hitler and wrote about him in 1936) he was denied work in the war effort during World War II, his writings fell out of favour, and he retired with his wife to run a small farm.
His writings today have a small following with the far-right, such as the The Occidental Quarterly which has published some of his writings.
Writings on the Alexander Technique
While discussing prayer and Coué’s auto-suggestion in Religion for Inﬁdels (1961) Ludovici relates in detail how he came to have lessons with Alexander. An admirer of Ludovici’s writings, Agnes Birrell, arranged their ﬁrst meeting in 1924 and subsequently paid for Ludovici’s ﬁrst 25 lessons. Although initially sceptical of Alexander’s technique and getting ‘no nearer to acquiring any faith in his method’ during the ﬁrst lessons, Ludovici later discovered major changes in himself and became an ‘ardent convert to his doctrines.’ He wrote that it ‘is impossible fully to describe the benefits both in health and in joie de vivre which I owed, and still owe, to this radical alteration in my physique. . . .’ Ludovici had regular lessons 1925–29 and recommended and wrote enthusiastically about the Technique in Man: An Indictment (1927), The Truth About Childbirth (1937), The Four Pillars of Health (1945) as well as an introduction to the Technique, Health and Education Through Self-Mastery.
Health and Education Through Self-Mastery (1933) by Ludovici was the first book on the Alexander Technique not written by Alexander. It was expanded from an address on conscious control which Ludovici gave to the Trafalgar Kin of the English Mistery. The book, a ‘popular exposition of the new discipline of Conscious Control’, explains the main principles of the Technique, particularly in the light of the scientific evidence of centrally controlled postural reﬂexes as suggested by Rudolf Magnus and Sir Charles Sherrington. The argument is, however, sidetracked for 33 pages (out of 125) while Ludovici lambasts a series of articles on ‘Morals and the Crisis’ – mainly for not offering a practical solution. (The inclusion of these pages was against the advice of Alexander’s students on his teachers training course.) He ends by relating his own personal experiences of the Technique.
A new edition of Health and Education Through Self-Mastery (2016) contains Ludovici’s other writings on the Alexander Technique, extracted from books and an unpublished MS.
The section from Religion for Inﬁdels (1961) in which Ludovici relates in detail how he came to have lessons with Alexander and its effects on him, was also published in The Philosopher’s Stone.