‘Splash!’ weaves a 10,000-year-old tale that begins in a bone-dry cave in the remote southwest corner of Egypt, winds its way through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages, and then re-emerges in the wake of the Renaissance before ending on the runway of the Tokyo Olympics. But swimming is also about more than feats of aquatic endurance or the terror of the bottomless deep. Its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion low and high, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory and much, much more. Unique and compulsive, ‘Splash!’ sweeps across the whole of humankind’s swimming history, with great wit and humour.
‘This fascinating history of how, where and why humans swim…is perfect reading for those missing a splash-about during the lockdown.’ GuardianFrom the first recorded dip into what’s now the driest spot on earth to the recreational swimmers in your local pool, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all.Splash! dives into Egypt, winds through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages (at least in Europe), and then re-emerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at the modern Olympic Games. Along the way, it kicks away the idea that swimming is just about speed or great feats of aquatic endurance, revealing how its history spans religion, fashion, architecture, public health, colonialism, segregation, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory and much, much more. As refreshing as jumping into a pool on a hot summer’s day, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind’s swimming history with an irrepressible enthusiasm that will make you crave your next dip.