For Your Listening Pleasure: “Eugen Sandow, Victorian Strongman” and “The Bare Fists of Boxing”

  • Originally published on the site on Friday, 3rd February 2012

The Art of Manliness website presents a podcast interview with David Waller, author of the new biography The Perfect Man: the Muscular Life and Times of Eugen Sandow, Victorian Stongman.  Sandow was a near contemporary of Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright’s, and the two men shared several commonalities as pioneers in different branches of physical culture.  Both made their names on the music hall stages of London at about the same time, both went on to found institutions promoting their own novel systems, and both were eventually buried in unmarked graves and thereafter largely forgotten.  Sandow, however, was by far the more celebrated figure, and was more successful than Barton-Wright at capitalising on his fame.

Also newly available to listen online is this BBC radio item on the history of bare-knuckle pugilism in England during the 19th century.  From the Bartitsu point of view, this item is particularly interesting as it describes the origins of the culture of British boxing with which Barton-Wright was, to some extent, competing via his introduction of Bartitsu in the late 1800s.

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