LIBRARY - Reference(s)

F. M. the Life of Frederick Matthias Alexander (1st edition)

Founder of the Alexander Technique
AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
Vol./ Issue/Edition: 
1st edition
216 x 144 mm.
ISBN 0316860484 / 978-0316860482
Mouritz Bibliography
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An earlier edition of this exists
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Short Description: 
A modern and highly readable biography by a professional biographer.
Mouritz description: 
Alexander’s life story is exciting by any standards: from Tasmania to London, from elocution to an extraordinary innovative and effective method for health and self-development. This is a scholarly, well- researched and excellently written biography by a long-time pupil and professional biographer, Michael Bloch. In telling the story of the life and work of Alexander, Bloch conveys a sense of Alexander’s personality and provides a psychological insight into the man behind the Technique. Bloch is not a teacher and so limits his comments on the Technique to a critical examination of Alexander’s writings (he is not impressed) and contemporary reports by Alexander’s pupils. Bloch’s attitude is respectful but not reverential. In the epilogue he examines whether Alexander qualifies as a ‘guru.’ This is a modern and highly readable biography which will appeal to teachers and pupils alike and which makes Alexander less enigmatic.
Publisher Description: 

The Alexander Technique is a method of muscular re-education, which has become standard training for actors, dancers and singers, and is practised for health reasons all over the world. Its founder, Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), was an Australian actor who stumbled upon it in the 1890s after studying himself in mirrors to discover why he had lost his voice. He realised that most people suffered from the same postural defects he had noticed in himself, and that this explained much of what went wrong with them. F.M. (as he was known) came to London in 1904 and became enormously successful. During the First World War he practised in America with equal success, converting the American philosopher John Dewey to his cause. He wrote four books (all still in print), and his supporters included Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw and Stafford Cripps. He was, however, a difficult and argumentative man who made enemies. Towards the end of his life he embarked on a libel action against the South African government, which had accused him of charlatanism. He won, and went on practising and propagating his technique until his death aged 86.