COMPANION

Biography

Irene Stewart Janet Irene Stewart (1906–1990), Scottish teacher of the Technique. Life Irene Stewart was a District Commissioner of the Girl Guide Movement but, suffering from asthma, she moved to London after hearing about the Technique from Margaret Goldie. She trained 1931–34 and subsequently taught at Ashley Place. Together with Alexander, Ethel Webb, Margaret Goldie and the Little School she went to USA in 1940, returning in 1943. As one of Alexander’s assistants and friends she often drove him places, went riding with him and joined him for weekends at Penhill...
Irene Tasker (1887–1977), British teacher of the Alexander Technique who started the ‘Little School’ and was the first teacher of the Alexander Technique in South Africa. Life Irene Tasker was the daughter of Rev. John Greenwood Tasker,  a Wesleyan minister and one time Principal of the Theological College at Handsworth in Birmingham. She went to school in Birmingham and studied at the Girton College, Cambridge 1907–10 when she gained a classical tripos. Although she gained a M.A. the certificate was not issued until 1927. She was governess and taught a...
J. D. Beresford (1873–1947), English writer who assisted F. M. Alexander drafting some of the early chapters to Alexander’s Man’s Supreme Inheritance (1910). Life J. D. Beresford was affected by infantile paralysis, which left him partially disabled and he had to use crutches. His father was a clergyman, but J. D. Beresford became a determined agnostic. However later in life he embraced spirituality and faith-healing and described himself as a Theosophist. One early influence on him was Frederick W. H. Myers’ Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death (...
James E. R. McDonagh (1881–1965), English surgeon, Alexander’s doctor and friend, and a pupil of Alexander. Life In 1909 McDonagh became Fellow of the Royal College of Surgery, and in 1916 he was elected Hunterian Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons. His research into venereal diseases, the common cold, influenza and corresponding infections in animals led him in 1929 to found and become director of The Nature of Disease Institute. From then onwards he dedicated his research to studying the underlying factors common to different kinds of diseases.[1] [2] Over the...
James Faucit Cathcart (1828–1902), British actor who gave lessons in dramatic expression and interpretation to the young F. M. Alexander. F. M. Alexander mentions that he had received instruction from James F. Cathcart in UoS: I observed that this condition of undue muscle tension affected particularly the use of my legs, feet and toes, my toes being contracted and bent downwards in such a way that my feet were unduly arched, my weight thrown more on to the outside of my feet than it should have been, and my balance interfered with. On discovering this, I thought back to see if...
James Harvey Robinson (1863–1936), U. S. historian and pupil of F. M. Alexander. Life Robinson specialised in European history about which he wrote several works. He obtained his Ph.D. at Freiburg in 1890, and was Professor of History at Columbia University 1895–1919 and a founding member of the New School for Social Research in New York where he lectured (1919–21). His best known works were An Introduction to the History of Western Europe (1902) which went through several editions, and The Mind in the Making (1921) which argues for the necessity of free thought if...
Jan Pullman (1951–2012), German teacher of the Alexander Technique and Head of Training in Hamburg. Life Jan Pullman studied classical saxophone and piano in Cologne and continued his studies at Trinity College of Music, London, 1978–81. Here he started having lessons in the Technique. Greatly helped by the Technique he trained as a teacher in Aalborg, Denmark, 1984–87 with Karen Wentworth. After training he moved to Hamburg where, as well as having a private practice, he taught the Technique in the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre, and in the Institute for...
Jean Clark (1933 –2021), British teacher of the Alexander Technique and Head of Training. Jean was born in 1933 and went to school in Streatham, London. She became an entomologist at the Natural History Museum. She had worked at the Natural History Museum for seventeen years when she first heard of the Alexander Technique, going on to train with Walter Carrington 1966–69. During her training Jean was introduced to the Dart procedures which became a  frequent part of her teaching. She was also keen on the application of the Alexander Technique to the use of the eyes....
Jeanne Day, British teacher of the Alexander Technique and Head of Training. Life Jeanne Day was born in 1918. She trained for the certificate of Horse Exam, was a nanny, and during WWII joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service, worked as a farm worker, worked in the Royal Women’s Voluntary Service. After the war she ran a small art gallery in Cornwall. Jeanne’s first contact with the Alexander Technique was in 1959, through a friend of her mother’s, Winnifred Dussek. (Dussek had started her teacher training with Alexander in 1954 and finished with Walter...
Jennette Barbour Perry Lee (1861? 67?–1951), teacher, author and a pupil of F. M. Alexander. Life Jennette Barbour Perry Lee studied at Smith College 1883–86 after which she taught Philosophy, Rhetoric and Composition at the Grant Collegiate Institute in Chicago. Later she taught at the Wheaton Academy, Vassar, and Western Reserve. In 1886, she married Gerald Stanley Lee. In 1901, she returned to Smith as an instructor, and in 1904 was officially appointed as an Associate Professor in English. She taught popular courses in Appreciation and Criticism until 1913.[1]...
Joan Alexander Evans, née Mechin (1916–2007), niece to F. M. Alexander. Mrs Joan Evans was the daughter of Amy Alexander, F. M. Alexander’s sister. Joan’s sister, Marjory Evans (later married Barlow), was 15 months older. When their father died in 1933, Amy and her two daughters moved at F. M. Alexander’s invitation into a cottage at Penhill (part of Alexander’s estate at Penhill, Bexleyheath). In May 1934 Joan assisted at the Little School at Penhill, first under Irene Tasker and then under Margaret Goldie. In September 1935 she went to a secretarial...
John Brown (1950–2008), UK teacher of the Alexander Technique. Life John Brown was born in Bangor, Country Down, Northern Ireland. Following university he worked as a social worker and later as a youth worker in West Belfast. He had his first lesson in Belfast, and decided to train with Chris Stevens in Denmark in 1988. He started his teacher training with Chris Stevens in Denmark and after two years, when Chris Stevens moved to Hamburg, transferred to the Constructive Teaching Centre (CTC) where he finished in 1991. He remained a teacher at CTC until shortly before his death...
John Dewey (1859–1952), American philosopher of education and pupil and supporter of F. M. Alexander. Life John Dewey studied at the University of Vermont and at Johns Hopkins University. After two years as a high-school teacher he decided he was unsuited for teaching in primary or secondary education. He received his Ph.D. School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. It was while he was teaching at the University of Chicago (1894–99) that he started writing and formulating his pedagogical beliefs. From 1904 until his retirement in 1930 he was professor of...
John Duncan Dunn (1872–1951?), British golfer, golf course designer and pupil of F. M. Alexander. Duncan Dunn was a nephew of William Dunn, Jr. (1864–1952), who was also a well-known golfer and designer of golf courses in the US. Duncan Dunn sold his own design of clubs and was a golf course architect.[1] He wrote several books, including A. B. C. of Golf. In his article ‘Conscious control and the lofting shot’ (in 1920 in the The Golfer’s Magazine) he wrote that MSI would be one of the best books for the ‘beginning golfer and the older player...
John Gray, British teacher of the Alexander Technique, actor, and author of Your guide to the Alexander Technique. Life John Gray joined the RAF in 1957 as his National Service. Afterwards he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and began acting professionally in the early 1960s. A car crash caused him chronic pain and he was recommended the Alexander Technique. Greatly helped by the Technique he trained as a teacher 1969–72 with Majory and Wilfred Barlow. He taught the Alexander Technique at RADA 1980–2012.[1] Writings His introductory book to the...
John Hilton (1880–1942), English journalist, lecturer, sociologist, and a pupil of F. M. Alexander. Life Hilton started as an apprentice mechanic, but soon became works manager and later the manager at a firm of loom makers. When he was 28 a severe sciatica attack forced him to give up work. He started contributing articles to newspapers and became a speaker for the Free Trade Union and the Norman Angell Movement for preventing war. This work made him train his voice carefully. To combat bouts of depression, he took up deep breathing. A 1918 study of trade organizations led him to...
John Skinner (1912–92), Australian-born British teacher of the Technique. Skinner served in the Royal Australian Air Force, and was a POW under the Japanese. He had read of Alexander’s work in Aldous Huxley’s Ends and Means and wrote immediately after the war to Alexander who responded encouragingly. Skinner arrived in London in December 1945, started training in November 1946 and soon afterwards took over the job of secretary from Walter Carrington. He was secretary and administrator and gave great support to Alexander during difficult times: the South African Trial and...
Joseph Rowntree (1836–1925), English cocoa and confectionery manufacturer and philanthropist. A pupil of F. M. Alexander. Life Joseph Rowntree and his brother, Henry Isaac, acquired a small cocoa manufacturing business in York in 1862, and Joseph Rowntree became the sole owner in 1883. At Rowntree’s retirement in 1923, the factory employed 7,000 people under working conditions well in advance of their time. Rowntree came from a Quaker family. He was a social and industrial reformer who was concerned with the welfare of his workers. His company was one of the first in England...
Joyce Roberts (1905–1996), South African teacher of the Alexander Technique. Joyce Roberts assisted Irene Tasker for several years in a way which amounted to an apprenticeship training. As Irene Tasker had no authority from F. M. Alexander to train teachers she did not qualify her, and would not for many years acknowledge Robert’s training. During the World War II Roberts would use her knowledge of the Technique, in her job of providing occupational therapy, to wounded and maimed soldiers. In 1957 she sailed to England where she met and befriended Alexander teachers. In 1974 she was...
Judith Leibowitz (1920–1990), US teacher of the Alexander Technique. Life Judith Leibowitz was 14 when she was paralysed from the waist down with polio. After many months of immobilization she undertook an intensive regime of physical therapy and could then walk again with braces and crutches. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a major in biology. She started having lessons first with Alma Frank and later with Lulie Westfeldt. She then trained as a teacher with Lulie Westfeldt[1] and qualified in 1949.[2] She began teaching in 1952.[3] In the early 1950s she went to London...

Pages