Library Articles
F. M. Alexander, Lulie Westfeldt
F. M. Alexander Aphorisms 1939
1939. 3 pages.
A newsletter issued by Lulie Westfeldt on her letterhead, dated 19 May 1939, containing 13 aphorisms by F. M. Alexander. Presumably these notes of F. M. Alexander’s remarks dates from her training with F. M., 1931-34, or from a later refresher course.
Newspaper cuttings regarding F. M. Alexander in Australia
Reviews and notices of F. M. Alexander’s theatre performances 1901-02. Part One: 1901
1901. 38 pages.
Alexander reports both in his autobiographical sketch and in Man’s Supreme Inheritance that he performed The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet with amateurs trained according to his technique, though with himself and Edith Tasca-Page in the lead roles. These newspaper clippings testify to the process and the results. The process of advertising for people to take part started in January 1901, with The Merchant of Venice first performed end of June, followed by Hamlet at the end of September, both in Sydney. The following year he toured with students of his newly established Sydney Dramatic and Operatic Conservatorium. The collection includes other performances with Alexander and Alexander’s advertisements of his voice and breathing method. The collection is probably not complete. (Note: this is a very large PDF file: 40MB.)
Newspaper cuttings regarding F. M. Alexander in Australia
Reviews and notices of F. M. Alexander’s theatre performances 1901-02. Part Two: 1902
1902. 63 pages.
Alexander reports both in his autobiographical sketch and in Man’s Supreme Inheritance that he performed The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet with amateurs trained according to his technique, though with himself and Edith Tasca-Page in the lead roles. These newspaper clippings testify to the process and the results. The process of advertising for people to take part started in January 1901, with The Merchant of Venice first performed end of June, followed by Hamlet at the end of September, both in Sydney. The following year he toured with students of his newly established Sydney Dramatic and Operatic Conservatorium. The collection includes other performances with Alexander and Alexander’s advertisements of his voice and breathing method. The collection is probably not complete. (Note: this is a very large PDF file: 46MB.)
F. M. Alexander
Index to F. M. Alexander's Letters volumes 1+2
2020. 22 pages.
This is the index in the Mouritz publication of F. M. Alexander's Letters volumes 1 (1916-42) and 2 (1943-1955). See details of publication on
Experiences of an Ashley Place Pupil
1956. 9 pages.
This unsigned typewritten MS describes a pupils’ understanding of the Alexander Technique from a series of lessons. It is undated but it appears lessons were taken in 1955, and the MS written in 1956. The author identifies and discusses three basic faulty habits: 1. Failure to maintain true poise. 2. Reflex rigidity, i.e. tensing of muscles. 3. Consequent faulty breathing. The original MS is in the Walter Carrington Archives, London.
“A Quiet Street” – Ashley Place Car Owner Resents Police Action (1928)
1928. 4 pages.
An unsigned article in The West London Press – Chelsea News, Friday 27 April 1928, p. 3. It reports on Mr F. M. Alexander appearing before the Westminster Police Court charged with his car being an “obstruction” when parked in front of 16, Ashley Place. (A car parked where it might be considered causing an obstruction was equivalent to today’s parking offence.) Despite attempting a robust defence Alexander was fined for two instances of causing an obstruction and also ordered to pay costs.
Alexander vs. Loraine 1909
1909. 11 pages.
In July 1909 F. M. Alexander successfully sued the actor Robert Loraine for non-payment of lessons. Alexander stated that Loraine had committed himself to a course of 35 lessons with Alexander in March 1909, had had 15 lessons, and did not pay for the remaining 20 lessons. These six newspaper reports also illuminate the fees Alexander – and voice specialists – charged, and contain reports of some of the actors he taught at the time. The appendix contains three almost identical reports from a 1908 court case in which F. M. Alexander was summoned for refusing to pay a cab fare as he believed he was overcharged.
Joe Armstrong
Reflections on my Work with Frank Pierce Jones in Light of my Other Experiences with the Alexander Technique
2016. 28 pages.
Joe Armstrong had lessons with Frank Pierce Jones during 1968 and 1969 before training as a teacher of the Technique with Walter Carrington in London 1969-1972. Armstrong moved back to Boston in 1972 and worked with F. P. Jones until the latter's death, in 1975. The paper describes F. P. Jones' style of teaching and his concerns regarding the future of the Alexander Technique.
Unsigned article in The Daily Express
The Lady of the Deep C
Specialist suggests she may double her power
1904. 3 pages.
This newspaper article is the first report we have of Alexander in London where he arrived in June 1904. It relates the meeting between Miss Violet Elliott, an Australian contralto with a "phenomenally deep voice", and F. M. Alexander. Their meeting takes place at one of "London’s most eminent throat and nose specialists." It provides a brief summary of Alexander's approach and a poignant insight into his thinking at this time.
Walter Carrington
Alexander and Irving
1990. 3 pages.
A short note written in 1990 for private circulation following watching a play about Sir Henry Irving. Walter Carrington here recounts his memories of F. M. Alexander talking about his meeting with Sir Henry Irving.
Major A. J. Dawson
Extract from Letters to Papers in Madras and Bombay
1918. 4 pages.
These two letters are reproduced from typewritten pages, written around 1918, from the Walter Carrington Archives. It is not known whether these letters were published in newspapers in Madras or Bombay. The reference to F. M. Alexander as a doctor and a medical man is of course incorrect.
Jean M. O. Fischer
A review of Jeroen Staring’s writings on the Alexander Technique
2020. 83 pages.
A review and criticism of Jeroen Staring’s writings on F. M. Alexander and the Alexander Technique. Staring claims that Alexander copied, plagiarised, borrowed concepts and procedures and teaching techniques from other people and many of these claims are here examined and rejected. Many of Staring’s original sources are consulted and omitted context is investigated. This paper also examines and questions Staring’s retrodiction methodology. (2.8 MB.)
Alma Frank
A Study in Infant Development
1938. 25 pages.
Alma (Mae Magoon) Frank (1898–1953), trained with Alexander 1937–40. ‘A Study in Infant Development’ compares postural and movement behaviour of infants when attaining sitting position without adult aid and when guided by the holding of hands into the sitting position by an adult. The latter procedure produces a noticeable ‘decrease in stature’. The article relates its findings to G. E. Coghill’s work on the mechanism of total integration, R. Magnus’ work on the reflexes of anti-gravity muscles, and Alexander’s work on the primary control of the reflex action of use. First published in 'Child Development', vol. 9, no. 1 (March, 1938).
David Garlick
The Lost Sixth Sense
1990. 44 pages.
The ‘lost sixth sense’ refers to kinaesthesia and proprioception. First published as a booklet in 1990 this presents Dr David Garlick’s (1933–2002) survey of possible physiological explanations for the workings of the Alexander Technique. It covers interpretations of phenomema and concepts in the Technique such as inhibition, direction, unreliable sensory appreciation, and primary control. Garlick described it as a work in progress, the science is described for the lay person, and some of the science is not up to date. (4.1 MB.)
Margaret Goldie
Two Letters in 'Health for All'
1957-58. 3 pages.
These two letters were written for and published in Health for All. The first letter corrects a misleading description of the Alexander Technique in an article by Mr Leslie Korth. The second letter concerns itself with the importance of the Technique for children, in response to a letter by Mr Eric de Peyer published in Health for All.
Gerald Stanley Lee
Extracts from The Ghost in the White House
1920. 8 pages.
The Ghost in the White House (1920) contain several references to F. M. Alexander of which most are quoted here. Of particular interest is a description of Lee's impressions of having lessons with Alexander. Frank P. Jones refer to G. S. Lee and his writings in his Freedom to Change.
Gurney MacInnes
Teaching F. M. Alexander’s Technique in a Boys’ Preparatory Boarding School 1936-39
1936-39. 40 pages.
These three reports relates MacInnes’s teaching experience of the Technique at Weymouth College. He had trained with F. M. Alexander 1931-34 with the purpose of teaching the Technique in schools. The experimental project was to investigate to what extent the Technique could be introduced into the life and work of a school. His account covers the structure and development of the project, and the progress pupils made, including individual case histories. He sums up his experiences (conditions) for making the Technique part of school education. The reports only existed as typewritten MS until it was published in Conscious Control vol. 1, no. 2, Autumn 2007, from which this edition is from.
Kenneth J. Maconochie
Changing the Pattern of Behaviour - Outline of a Therapy for Criminal Reform
1956. 16 pages.
Kenneth Maconochie was the great-grandson of Captain Alexander Maconochie (1787-1860), pioneer in Penology, who was the inventor of the Mark System of penal discipline in 1840. The system, of rewarding good behaviour, with more opportunities and freedom within a prison, is now adopted in various forms around the world. In this article the author argues that the Alexander Technique has much to offer a penal system in conjunction with the Mark System, especially in terms of making people more conscious of their choices and of the consequences of those choices.
Ian Mackrill
Some Notes on the Books of F. Matthias Alexander
1967. 7 pages.
Ian Mackrill was a pupil of Irene Tasker (1887–1977). She asked him to write these notes as he read Alexander’s books while having lessons. Irene Tasker defended the writings of Alexander in her lecture, ‘Connecting Links’ (1967), where she quotes from Mackrill’s notes, only identifying him as ‘a barrister’.
Unsigned, on Rudolf Magnus
The Significance of the Brain Stem in Muscle Tone and Sense of Position
1923. 4 pages.
Unsigned article in the British Medical Journal, no. 3282, 24 November 1923, pp. 1001-02. This paper is probably the first knowledge F. M. Alexander would have had of Rudolf Magnus’s research. This article is featured in the same issue which contained a report on the ‘Nervous Child’ with a contribution by Dr Peter Macdonald which mentions the Alexander Technique. The original BMJ which was in Alexander’s possession contains pencil markings for both articles.
Rudolf Magnus
Animal Posture: The Croonian Lecture
1925. 15 pages.
Rudolf Magnus was Professor of Pharmacology, University of Utrecht. This Croonian lecture was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, November 1925.
Rudolf Magnus
On Some Results of Studies in the Physiology of Posture
1926. 31 pages.
Rudolph Magnus (1873–1927) was Professor Of Pharmacology, University of Utrecht. This is the Cameron Prize Lectures delivered at the University of Edinburgh and published in The Lancet 1926.
Peter Marshall
Analysis of the Basic Traits in the Handwriting of M.A
1955. 3 pages.
A purportedly a blind analysis of the handwriting of ‘M.A.’ (F. M. Alexander) by Peter Marshall.
Francis J. Mott
Extracts from The Little History
1972. 42 pages.
Francis John Mott (1901-1980) was in charge of an offshoot of Christian Science. In his philosophical work, The Little History volume 2, he relates his meetings with F. M. Alexander, Dr. J. E. R. McDonagh, and Charles Neil and compares their views with his own cosmology.
Alexander Murray
Charles A. Neil - Recollections
2015. 15 pages.
Extracts from a variety of sources on Charles Neil (1916–58) with Alexander Murray's commentary.
Edward Owen
Interview Notes
1961–62. 38 pages.
Edward Owen was a journalist and former pupil of F. M. Alexander. In the early 1960s for the purpose of possibly writing a biography of F. M. Alexander, he interviewed Walter Carrington, Patrick J. Macdonald, Robert D. Best, A. Rugg-Gunn, Irene Stewart, Dr. & Mrs. Barlow, John Skinner, Margaret Goldie and Beaumont Alexander. These were exploratory interviews, in part investigating what material would be available. Owen did not proceed with the project and no more interviews were conducted.
Andrew Rugg-Gunn
Posture and Allied Processes in Man
1960s. 132 pages.
Rugg-Gunn was an early pupil of F. M. Alexander. He had written articles on the Technique before this 1959 MS for a book. It was never published. Here he aims to correlate developmental organisation of the organism with the Alexander Technique. The developmental physiology described is partly based on Charles Child’s axial gradient theory of development which was outdated already by the time of writing. To the general reader, these chapters may appear very specialised. The second half deals with the Alexander Technique. The figures and Appendix 2 are missing.
Regina Stratil
Index to the Irene Tasker biography
2020. 15 pages.
The index pages for Irene Tasker – Her Life and Work with the Alexander Technique by Regina Stratil (Mouritz, 2020).
Results of the survey on the position of mechanical advantage
2021. 10 pages.
A report on the results of an informal survey of the use of the term ‘monkey’ and alternatives used. The Google Form survey was open between 15 April and 30 April 2021. The first teacher training course students coined the term ‘monkey’ as a nickname for one of Alexander’s positions of mechanical advantage. It was and frequently still is used for bending/folding at the hips, knees and ankles. Alexander never used this term, but it became widely used. As the term is now considered by some people to cause offense, there have recently been discussions on alternative terms. The questionnaire considered usage and alternatives used. 134 people participated.
George L. Trevelyan and Gurney MacInnes
The Alexander Society Bulletins and Letters
1936-37. 16 pages.
In the mid-1930s a group of pupils, students and teachers met to discuss and share experiences of the Alexander Technique, and an informal Alexander society was formed. George Trevelyan and Gurney MacInnes circulated round robin letters and bulletins, reporting on their meetings, little edited from original notes. Trevelyan also included extracts from his diary (most of which was later published in The Philosopher’s Stone). G.L.T. is George L. Trevelyan. G.M.I. is Gurney MacInnes. The few surviving typewritten papers are here listed chronologically.
George L. Trevelyan
Tests of Principle in Physical Education
1938. 16 pages.
George Trevelyan trained as a teacher on Alexander’s first training course 1931–34. In this paper, first published in 1938, Trevelyan compares principles and assumptions of physical education to the Alexander Technique. Five key points in the Technique are briefly described: 1. that the organism works as a unity, 2. that defects are mainly the results of 'doing', 3. that sensory appreciation is unreliable, 4. that we need to change from the known to the unknown, 5. that the primary control governs our use. These points are used to refute four assumptions in physical education: 1. that development of the whole can be achieved through the development of parts, 2. that the ability to perform a certain activity means that it is beneficial for us, 3. that instructions as to what to do can be communicated verbally reliably, and 4. that there are 'right' positions. Three criteria by which to judge any method of physical education are suggested. This edition is from Conscious Control vol. 2, no. 1, Spring 2008.
Dr James Walsh
Conscious Evolution and Conscious Control
1923. 10 pages.
This is a critique of Alexander and the Technique, apparently based on a reading of Man's Supreme Inheritance. It is a chapter from Dr Walsh's book Cures – The Story of the Cures that Fail which includes criticisms of healers, magnetism, hypnotism, manipulations, and positive thinking among others. We do not know what Alexander thought of it.
Catharine Wielopolska
The Discovery and Use of the Eye Order in Teaching the Alexander Work
1984. 16 pages.
Transcript of a talk Catharine Wielopolska and Dr Mario Pazzaglini gave to ACAT students in New York, about the discovery and use of the eye order in teaching the Alexander Technique. The eye order is ‘eyes free to go apart’ as a precursor to the primary control. Wielopolska is also suggesting to think of the directions as ‘words without meaning’, allowing the ‘body’s intelligence’ to interpret it as it wishes. The importance of the word ‘free’ is stressed, and she also relates some of her memoirs of F. M. Alexander. Because of the nature of a transcript it appears that occasionally a word is missing.
Dr Charlotte Wolff
A Hand–Reading of F. Matthias Alexander
1936. 4 pages.
An extract from Studies in Hand–Reading, pp. 113–14, by Dr Charlotte Wolff (Chatto & Windus, London, 1936, translated from German), with a preface by Aldous Huxley. The book also contained studies of the hands of Aldous Huxley and Bernard Shaw (both pupils of F. M. Alexander) as well as several other artists and authors. The inscription in this copy of the book by F. M. Alexander to Irene Tasker is also reproduced here.
F. M. Alexander, Walter Carrington, Marjorie Barstow.
F. M. Alexander 1949-50 [DVD booklet in German]
2010. 32 pages.
This is a German translation of the Mouritz DVD booklet which describes the contents of the DVD, contains Walter Carrington's commentary, and Walter Carrington's short article 'What is the Alexander Technique?'. Translated by Jan Pullmann. DVD details are in the Bibliography
South African Libel Case: Alexander vs. Jokl
Mouritz has published the complete transcription of the Libel Case in PDF, seeShop
Contents pages of the South Africal Libel Case Transcript
2016. 8 pages.
The total transcript in the new lay-out and reset edition of the transcript plus extras contains some 1,418 pages over 170 separate documents. The contents pages provide an overview.
Manpower 1944
Editorial: Quackery Versus Physical Education
1944. 53 pages.
Editorial in Manpower (Volkskragte), March 1944. This article was the source of the 1948 South African libel case Alexander v. Jokl and others. Although unsigned it transpired during the trial that the article was written by Ernst Jokl (1907-97). It also contains book reviews of The Universal Constant in Living and of Aldous Huxley’s The Art of Seeing.
Evidence on Commission: Two Hearings
1947. 18 pages.
Two hearings regarding taking evidence on commission in England. Three applications were made. Both plaintiff (Alexander ) and defendents (Jokl and others) were granted permission.
Judgment: Alexander vs Jokl and others
1948. 34 pages.
In this Judgment (of 19th February, 1948) Judge Clayden states that he is not concerned with whether Mr Alexander's technique is well founded and useful, but whether or not the Manpower article is defamatory and, if so, whether Mr Alexander is entitled to damages. Judge Clayden addresses in turn the four main allegations of Quackery, Dishonesty, Untruthfulness, and Madness. He then considers the three allegations of Unsound Basis, Lack of Support, and Claims to Cure. He finds in Alexander's favour and, considering Manpower's circulation awards Alexander £1,000 in damages.
Damages: Two Judgments re damages
1948. 13 pages.
Following the judgment in Alexander's favour the damages were set at £1,000 at a hearing 19th April 1948. The defendents (Jokl and others) appealed the award of £1,000 but at the hearing of 3rd June 1949, the court upheld the original damages.