Physical Culture and Self-Defense
Red cloth 8vo, 185pp. Several related newspaper clippings laid in throughout text, causing occasional offsetting. The covers show some rubbing and the spine text is all but gone; otherwise a Near Fine example, particularly tight and crisp. A seemingly endless supply of excellent illustrations, including a 30-page photo illustrated fight sequence constituting all of chapter 18, "The Famous Blows of Robert Fitzsimmons." Other sections offer visual treats like fight stances in pinstripe suits and bag punching at the gym. The text includes some stories from Fitzgerald's legendary career, given in service of promoting physical ability. He includes chapters specifically for women, parents, and teachers about incorporating easy exercise into daily life. His "self-defense" guide for fighting in real-life situations balances tips on staying cool-headed, knowing what punch to throw, and how to throw it. You can just about hear someone yell, "Put 'em up!"
Robert Fitzsimmons (1863-1917), also known as "Ruby Robert" and "The Freckled Wonder", was a British-born boxer who was the sport's first three-division world champion. He won the World Middleweight title in 1891, the World Heavyweight title in 1897, and the World Light Heavyweight title in 1903. He was a pioneer of the support and is considered one of the greatest of all time. Beautiful book. Exceptionally delightful.