Swimming with Dr Johnson and Mrs Thrale: Sport, Health and Exercise in Eighteenth-Century England by Julia Allen soon to be available at the excellent BookLovers of Bath web site!
Published: Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press, 2012, Paperback.
First in this, paperback, edition. Illustrated by way of: Portraits; Black & White Plates; Black & White Drawings;
From the cover: In this well researched and highly readable exploration of the history of British sport, Julia Allen shows that our nations obsession with sport is no new phenomenon. Drawing extensively on contemporary writings, reports and journals, Allen introduces Dr Johnson and Mrs Thrale while exploring the medical theories upon which eighteenth-century notions about exercise were based. The role of the physician, the work of the surgeon, the social context in which exercise was held and an in-depth description of the state of sport at the time are given including the rules, specific health benefits and whether women were permitted to join in.
Casting a historians eye over swimming, dancing, running, boxing, riding and skating as well as providing biographies of those who took part, this book promises to keep alive the love of sport long after the buzz of the Olympics has died down.
[VII] 297 pages. Index. Bibliography. Trade Paperback (9¼” x 6¼”).