Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero

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Random House, Oct 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
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Haunts of the Black Masseur is a dazzling introduction to the great swimming heroes: Byron leaping into the surf at Shelley's beach funeral, Hart Crane, swallow-diving to his death in the Bay of Mexico, Ulysses, Leander, Weismuller and many more. In lively prose bursting with anecdote, Charles Sprawson leads us into a watery world populated by lithe demi-Gods – one that has obsessed humans from the ancient Greeks and Romans, to Yeats, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald and David 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.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

One of the strangest and most stylish books of the year: a cultural history of swimming, by a dealer in 19th-century paintings. Sprawson learned to swim as a boy in India, at a school where his ... Read full review

Haunts of the Black Masseur: the swimmer as hero

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this poor execution of an intriguing idea, Sprawson, an art dealer who is himself an avid swimmer, attempts to explore swimming and swimmers from both a literary and cultural viewpoint. He quotes ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Charles Sprawson is an obsessional swimmer and diver who has swum the Hellespont.

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