649: Charles Sprawson: Haunts of the Black Masseur

In a masterful work of cultural history, Charles Sprawson, himself an obsessional swimmer and fluent diver, explores the meaning that different cultures have attached to water. Sprawson compares the meaning various societies have assigned to swimming—from classical Greece and imperial Rome to nineteenth-century England and Germany and the U.S. and Japan in the last fifty years.

“The peculiar psychology of the swimmer, and his ‘feel for water’, form the basic themes of this book.”

Charles Sprawson “Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero”. First published in 1992. This Vintage edition was published in 1993. Donated to the library by Adrian and Liz Arratoon from London, UK ❤️

Photos by Anna Iltnere / Sea Library

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