Haunts Of The Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero

Front Cover
Random House, Oct 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
16 Reviews

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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Haunts Of Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero

User Review  - Oliver - Goodreads

Sprawson's sprawling account of the cultural depiction of swimming through the ages is a fantastic piece of writing. A swimming cult classic to rank alongside Roger Deakin's Waterlog. It is a book so ... Read full review

Review: Haunts Of Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero

User Review  - Sylla - Goodreads

If there was only one book about swimming it should be this one, a unique blend of private passion and cultural history, the pages on Lord Byron and the Hellespont are epic. Read full review

About the author (2009)

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

Bibliographic information