1st Edition

A Social History of Swimming in England, 1800 – 1918 Splashing in the Serpentine

Edited By Christopher Love Copyright 2008
    168 Pages
    by Routledge

    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    Covering a time of great social and technological change, this history traces the development of the four classic aquatic disciplines of competitive swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo, with its main focus on racing. Working from the beginnings of municipal recreational swimming, the book fully explores the links between swimming and other aspects of English life society including class, education, gender, municipal governance, sexuality and the Victorian invention of the sports amateur-professional divide.

    Uniquely focused on swimming -often neglected in analytic sports histories- this is the first study of its kind and will be an important landmark in the establishment of swimming history as a topic of scholarly investigation.

    This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

    Chapter 1 An Overview of the Development of Swimming in England, c.1750–1918; Chapter 2 Swimming and Gender in the Victorian World; Chapter 3 Social Class and the Swimming World: Amateurs and Professionals; Chapter 4 Local Aquatic Empires: The Municipal Provision of Swimming Pools in England, 1828–1918; Chapter 5 Holborn, Lambeth and Manchester: Three Case Studies in Municipal Swimming Pool Provision; Chapter 6 Swimming at the Clarendon Schools; Chapter 7 State Schools, Swimming and Physical Training; Chapter 8 ‘Whomsoever You See in Distress’: Swimming, Saving Life and the Rise of the Royal Life Saving Society; Chapter 9 Swimming, Service to the Empire and Baden-Powell's Youth Movements; Chapter 10 Taking a Refreshing Dip: Health, Cleanliness and the Empire; Chapter 11 A Chronology of English Swimming, 1747–1918;


    Christopher Love is an independent Scholar.

    "It provides a lot of interesting information for others pursuing research in the area and certainly points the direction to a lot of useful sources of information in this previously neglected area within the wider field of sports history research" Win Hayes

    "Overall this book covers a wide range of topics related to swimming and provides a comprehensive overview of the developments of the period" Win Hayes