R. Jones, A Treatise on Skating: Revisited and Enhanced

First published in 1772, Robert Jones’s Treatise on Skating is the oldest surviving book about ice skating. It begins with advice on choosing skates and starting to skate, then details more difficult maneuvers for advanced skaters. Several editions, some containing new material, were published in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today’s readers will find this glimpse into the beginning of figure skating fascinating.

This edition includes the full text of the original 1772 edition and later additions, an introduction and commentary, a comprehensive summary of the previous editions, and a new section on Jones’s skates.

169+x pages, illustrated
ISBN 978-1-948100-00-7 (paperback)




Skating in Great Britain
Robert Jones and his treatise
Content and reception
Editorial process

A Treatise on Skating
Section I
Of the different methods of fixing on skates
Of the construction of skates
Of the first position
Of the inside edge
Of travelling on the inside edge
Of the outside edge
Of travelling on the outside edge
Of the curved line on the outside edge, called rolling
Of running
Section II
Of the spiral line
Of the inside circle
Of the outside circle
Of the flying Mercury
Of the fencing position
Of the salutation
Of the serpentine line
Of travelling backwards
To cut the figure of a heart on one leg

Later Additions
The skater’s march
The editor to the reader
Preface to the 1823 edition
Preface to the 1855 edition
New and revised instructions
Of the construction of skates, and the different methods of fixing them to the foot
Travelling backwards
Outside wheel and outside edge backwards
Serpentine line backwards
Concluding injunction

Editions of the Treatise
Robert Jones’s skates