Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
May SinclairRe-Thinking Bodies and Minds$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rebecca Bowler and Claire Drewery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415750

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415750.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

May Sinclair and Physical Culture: Fit Greeks and Flabby Victorians

May Sinclair and Physical Culture: Fit Greeks and Flabby Victorians

(p.139) Chapter 7 May Sinclair and Physical Culture: Fit Greeks and Flabby Victorians
May Sinclair

Rebecca Bowler

Edinburgh University Press

The Combined Maze, published in 1911, is an allegory about two possible futures for the human race. One possible future is to continue along Victorian lines, with working men and women either ‘weedy, parched, furtively inebriate’ like Ranny’s father, or with the ‘flabbiness’ of his father’s chemist assistant, Mercier.1 The alternative is for young people to throw off their Victorian shackles, to stride forth into the world, to run and jump, and to establish their lives upon the principles of moral and physical fitness. This chapter argues that Sinclair presents physical activity, strength training and joy in movement as the solution to moral, psychological and physical flabbiness. It makes explicit the similarities between Ezra Pound’s vortex and the vortex of Sinclair’s The Combined Maze, and Sinclair’s vision of the active modern woman with the discourses on race, fitness and eugenics (all inflected with classicist ideals) that were circulating in the early twentieth century.

Keywords:   fitness, physical culture, Ancient Greeks, vorticism, eugenics, Social Darwinism

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.