Haunts of the Black Masseur: A panel discussion with Alex Preston and Nicholas Pearson – 7th June


Join us for a panel discussion of Charles Sprawson's seminal 1992 book about swimming.


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The Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero: A panel discussion with Alex Preston and Nicholas Pearson
Thursday 7th June, 2018, 7pm

Tickets: £10 (including £2 off copies of the book on the night)

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, art and Olympic history, this cult swimming classic pays sparkling tribute to water and the cultural
meanings we attach to it.

Born in 1941, Sprawson traces his fascination with swimming to his youth living in India. The ‘obsessional swimmer’ dips between his own memories and a cultural history of swimming to understand the sport as unique in its appeal to the ‘introverted and eccentric’. Receiving much critical acclaim and success when originally published in 1992, Sprawson’s romantic account of swimming in art and culture has enjoyed a resurgence in interest in recent years.

Additional information


Ticket, Student Concession

Event Details

Date: June 07, 2018

Start time: 19:00

End time: 20:00

Venue: Lutyens & Rubinstein

Directions: Please see our contact page for travel information