anghara (anghara) wrote,

What's in a name, and all that.

A couple of years ago I was browsing in a magnificent second-hand bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin (which has since apparently vanished because further attempts to locate it in subsequent visits to the city have failed miserably) I happened to turn around and come face to face with a glass-fronted book display cabinet with a selection of the (presumably) older/more valuable/more fragile books in stock.

I could barely believe it when I saw THIS staring back at me:

healthful exercises

So I asked to see it, and they handed it to me for a closer look. It turned out to be an illustrated (!) manual for exercises which were suitable for girls, written by one A. Alexander, billed as "Director of the Liverpool Gymnasium, late Professor of Gymnastics at Dublin University, Gold Medalist, &c" (PROFESSOR of GYMNASTICS? THere was an entire department dedicated to gymnastics at Dublin University? GOld Medalist IN WHAT? Oh my, the slew of mysteries!) and published in 1887.

And when I say Illustrated...

healthful exercises interior

I mean, I had to have it, no? This other A. Alexander, writing fantasy novels in the 21st century... I just had to have it, this odd little handbook for bloomered little girls doing their "healthful" exercises.

It lives in my bookshelf, a treasured addition.

Oh, I don't know. I just thought y'all might like to see it..

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