A new re-issue of the cult swimming classic, a beautiful read filled with detailed description and powerful prose.
WITH 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
"[Sprawson] has an ornate style of prose, apparently smooth, but rippling with wit and candour… Haunts of the Black Masseur was a delight when I read it first time round and 25 years on, it strikes me as even better"
"Original and sparkling… A haunting, sensual, slippery read that will make you long for seaweed on your skin and sand between your toes. A must for swimmers"
"A wholly original idea...a brilliant translation of a singular passion"
"A devoted and luminously romantic history of swimming"