First published in 1897, On the Outside Edge is a clever and insightful introduction to the history of skating. It begins by tracing the development of ice skates from bone skates to the type of skate used in nineteenth-century England. Then, it describes the development of figure skating in Europe in the nineteenth century. Some of Fowler’s insights into the history of ice skating are stunning; he points out errors that have been repeated to this day.
This edition—the first since 1897—includes the full text of the original work, a new introduction, and extensive commentary that provides background information and uses the results of current scholarship to bring Fowler’s work into the twenty-first century.
G. Herbert Fowler (1861–1940) was a zoologist, oceanographer, historian, archivist, skater, and skier. He wrote and edited many books and articles, the best-known of which are Science of the Sea (1912) and The Care of County Muniments (1923), and served as the British representative to the International Skating Union from 1903 to 1925