Books: Life with a Genius

DUMBBELLS AND CARROT STRIPS (405 pp.)—Mary Macfadden & Emile Gauvreau—Holt ($3.95).

Mary Williamson was only a Yorkshire millhand until Bernarr ("Body Love") Macfadden, the "Father of Physical Culture," put a tape around her torso (bust 38½, hips 39). After that, life speeded up for Mary. First, in a nationwide contest, Macfadden crowned her "Great Britain's Perfect Woman"; then he gave her the star turn in his physicultural demonstrations—that of springing nightly off a high table and landing "with both feet together on his breadbasket."* Between springs he poured into her astonished ear the truth about the breadbasket—how the Macfadden stomach revolted against...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!