A Dissertation of How to keep healthy in the Modern Era

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A Dissertation of How to keep healthy in the Modern Era

Postby Harry Hayfield » Sun May 07, 2017 9:18 pm

(or "How to write an exercise book for Victorian Times")

Now that I am not campaigning for an election (although I will be taking a close interest in our general election on June 8th), I can now get back to writing the books that Sticks has kindly agreed to illustrate. This is the one that I believe he will be best suited to as it's an attempt to write an exercise book for Victorian gentlemen and their manservants and here is the frontispiece:

In being asked to write this instructional handbook for this great nation, I feel it would first be suitable for me to thank many people and organisations, without whose help and assistance, such a book would not have been able to been published. The first organisation I wish to thank is the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, Hampshire whose provision of data relating to the physical structure of Britons was the main reason behind this handbook. The next set of thanks are to two people, Mr. Sticks who has been exceptionally diligent in his illustrations and my manservant, Jean Passepartout. I realise that some people may think that allowing a manservant to appear in such a book would give him ideas above his station, but I can assure you that without his dogged determination, resolute spirit and sheer strength of character (both physical and mental) I would not be in the position I am now where the funding of this handbook would be possible.

I am also thankful to Father Ernst, who in January 1861, published a book entitled “The Portable Gymnasium” which outlined exercises to ensure that the world became a more upstanding place. Indeed, his advice on what to put into this handbook and what to leave out was exceptionally helpful and therefore it is only fitting that I thank him for his suggestions and am pleased to say that as well as this handbook showing what exercises can be done without the use of his equipment, he has allowed me to adapt some suggestions of his for use with his equipment.

Because of this arrangement, there will be two sets of exercises for each description. The first will be demonstrated by myself and will be aimed at those people who, like myself, wish to keep healthy and active but not look like a navvie whilst they are doing it. The second set will be for those, like my manservant, who hold the opinion that the only way to show that you are healthy and active is to do so by wearing just a vest and a pair of long johns, therefore there will be pictures in this book that may shock people and I apologise in advance for that, but will attempt to give as much warning as possible where this is likely to happen.

With that brief introduction, out of the way, I will now permit Mr. Sticks to present ourselves. Myself, Sir Fogg on the left, and my manservant, Jean on the right, and then proceed to the first exercise in this handbook.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)
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Re: A Dissertation of How to keep healthy in the Modern Era

Postby DannyBoy » Mon May 08, 2017 11:43 pm

Hey Harry, I wish you much good fortune & success in writing your exercise book for Victorian times. I gather from the excerpt that you're writing it as if you're Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days"?
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Re: A Dissertation of How to keep healthy in the Modern Era

Postby Harry Hayfield » Tue May 09, 2017 10:23 am

DannyBoy wrote:Hey Harry, I wish you much good fortune & success in writing your exercise book for Victorian times. I gather from the excerpt that you're writing it as if you're Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days"?


That is absolutely correct. The premise being that after he completes his journey he becomes a bit of a celebrity (gets parachuted into the safest Liberal seat in the country with a view to entering Parliament at the 1874 general election) and therefore decides that he ought to address his concerns about health and fitness into a book, hence the statement that the exercises he demonstrates will be for everyday gentlemen whilst Passepartout will be the gym bunny for the working classes.

The book that Sticks is referring to in the election thread is based on the original (and has lots of references to Jean being as big and strong as he can be!)
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)
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Location: Llanon, Ceredigion, Wales

Re: A Dissertation of How to keep healthy in the Modern Era

Postby peter yates » Tue May 09, 2017 3:04 pm

Excellent Harry,
looks like this will be an interesting and fun read.
Regards,Peter.
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