Lovely text with good accompanying illustrations. A New Re Issue Of The Cult Swimming Classic, A Beautiful Read Filled With Detailed Description And Powerful ProseWITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY AMY LIPTROT A Luminously Romantic History Of Swimming Guardian Haunts Of The Black Masseur Is A Dazzling Introduction To The Great Swimming Heroes, From Byron Leaping Into The Surf At Shelley S Funeral To Hart Crane Diving To His Death In The Bay Of Mexico Bursting With Anecdotes, Charles Sprawson Leads Us Into A Watery World Populated By Lithe Demi Gods A World That Has Obsessed Humans From The Ancient Greeks And Romans, To Yeats, Woolf, Fitzgerald And Hockney Original, Enticing And Dripping With References To Literature, Film, Art And Olympic History, This Cult Swimming Classic Pays Sparkling Tribute To Water And The Cultural Meanings We Attach To It This Splendid And Wholly Original Book Is As Zestful As A Plunge In Champagne Iris Murdoch All I can say is I agree with the excellent reviews, rambling at times, but always fascinating and as I neared the end I wanted bargain I am writing this review well over 12 months since I read it A recent tv programme inspired by Waterlog made me recall this book I realise that this book s ability to provide an insight to the history of its subject is something that has not been easily forgotten by me I am sure very many people, who like me, started to read it without expectation found once started it was rather difficult to stop Intriguingly it also involved reading very many pages before you found out the reason for the book s title Well writen and not presumptious nor pretentious It is what many a book should be an unexpected joy. Charles Sprawson is, apparently, an obsessive swimmer who like Byron once swam the Hellespont and this is a very engaging study of swimming, and swimming heroes, in different cultures From the English classical public school tradition, imbued with the glory that was Greece and Rome andthan a dollop of homo eroticism, through German Romanticism to and this is the section I enjoyed most swimming and the American dream From Eakins Arcadian swimming hole to Scott Fitzgerald s Gatsby and Dick Diver, Johnny Weissmuller, John Cheever s Swimmer, and Hockney s shimmering Californian pools.One slightly annoying flaw, however, is the author s habit of citing notable swimmers by their surnames only even at first reference and often without even the briefest explanation of who they are Several times I found myself asking, Who he Surely an editor should have picked up on this It sometimes felt like he was talking about a coterie of old schoolfriends to whom I hadn t been introduced. As advertised. truly fascinating book.