The Story of Swimming -

The Story of Swimming

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In recent years, a new passion for open water swimming has emerged and, alongside it, a growing enthusiasm for the more adventurous and heroic aspects of swimming. A budding tourist industry now invites bathers on endurance holidays involving long-distance swims in exotic or challenging waters such as the Hellespont, once swum by Lord Byron. Modern day heroes such as David Walliams and Lewis Gordon Pugh undertake swimming feats for charity or to make their point about pollution and global warming. And the growing popularity of triathlon and open water distance swimming events, which now have Olympic status, inspires many athletes to zip themselves into state of the art wetsuits and head for the water. But how did open water swimming start in the UK? What shaped it? And why did it has become so popular? Susie Parr takes a broadly chronological look at the social history of British swimming. She explores the earliest records, accounts written by the Romans; unearths references from Anglo Saxon times and delves into stories of the Viking invaders. She makes discoveries in medieval and Elizabethan literature and learns how medicinal sea-bathing flourished in the 18th century, leading to the rise of Georgian and Regency watering holes such as Brighton, Weymouth, Tenby and Scarborough. She examines the Romantic reconfiguration of the relationship between man and the natural world and follows the line of literary swimmers from Wordsworth, Byron and Shelley, through to DH Lawrence and Iris Murdoch. And she explores the rise of the British seaside as the advent of rail travel made it accessible to the masses, resulting in the boom of Britain's seaside resorts, thronged with bathers and revellers. It is a fascinating and hugely enjoyable journey. The book is profusely illustrated with paintings, woodcuts, postcards, cartoons, diary entries, literature and photographs, including photographs by Susie's husband, the UK's most prominent photographer, Martin Parr.

Product code: 9781905928071

ISBN 9781905928071
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H280xW240xS22
Edition UK ed.
No. Of Pages 208
Publisher Dewi Lewis Media Ltd
Susie Parr takes a broadly chronological look at the social history of British swimming in this fascinating book which is profusely illustrated with paintings, woodcuts, postcards, cartoons, diary entries, literature and photographs, including photographs by Susie's husband, the UK's most prominent photographer, Martin Parr.