Extracts from the Preface by Setsuko Kagawa
--- In the past few decades historians have developed an interest in the human body, health and physical education, from the viewpoints of social class, gender and national efficiency. As to the history of women’s physical education and sport in nineteenth- to twentieth-century Britain, we already have pioneering works by feminist researchers like Sheila Fletcher, Kathleen McCrone, and Jeniffer Hargreaves. Quite recently Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska explored the emergence of modern male and female bodies and physical culture, within the wide context of debates about racial fitness and active citizenship from 1880s until 1939. However, we have much difficulty in investigating the actual state of early physical exercise and organized physical education for women in this period because of the lack and disparity of historical documents. Research will be much helped by having scattered contemporary literature brought together in these newly reprinted volumes.