Published 2004 276 pages
This first full biography of Alexander written by a professional biographer is excellent on both the overview of Alexander's life and on the detail. Although much of the source material for this book was readily available, most notably in Jean Fischer's edited editions of Alexander's books, in the short volume on Alexander's early years called "Up From Down Under" and in the family biography by Alexander's neice Jacky Evans, Bloch has created a synthesis of this and other information to give at last a clear picture in one volume of the whole of Alexander's life.
The blurb on the back says...
In 1892 a young Australian actor found himself afflicted by a strange hoarseness whenever he started to recite. Observing himself in mirrors, he worked out that his problem arose from habitual 'misuse' in the relationship of the head, neck and back. Gradually, he evolved a practical method of overcoming the problem. The man was F.M. Alexander and his method became known as the Alexander Technique, a unique form of muscular re-education which is now practised across the world and is standard training for actors, dancers and singers in the UK.
Michael Bloch's elegantly written and meticulously researched biography is the first to appear of this widely admired individual. From his harsh beginnings in Tasmania to his growing success in Melbourne, Sydney and London, from the dedication of followers such as John Dewey and Aldous Huxley to his famous libel case against the South African governnment, it reveals the stenghths and weaknesses of a man who, though an enigma to his contemporaries, is now recognised as one of the most remarkable innovators of his time.
book of the year...An absolutely first-class work of scholarship, lucidly
presented and fascinating to read."
new biography is impressive not simply because it is definitive and well
written, but because it has the resonance of a moral fable, relevant to any
system, any age."