Early British Swimming 55BC-AD1719

Nicholas Orme

Early British Swimming 55BC-AD1719

Nicholas Orme

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

228 pages | 8-1/10 x 5-4/5
Paper $31.00 ISBN: 9780859891349 Published January 1993 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

In 1857 Everard Digby, an extrovert Cambridge scholar, published the first scientific treatise on swimming – and one of the first on any modern sport. Six months later he was expelled from his college, and died in obscurity as a country parson. Nicholas Orme rehabilitates Digby as a great pioneer of the history of sport.

The book opens with a detailed history of swimming in Britain from the Romans to the sixteenth century, which is followed by an account of Digby’s life and work and its impact on swimming down to the eighteenth century.

The book also includes the first modern edition of Digby’s treatise, in the English version of 1595, with the 43 original illustrations.


I 1. From the Romans to the Vikings
  2. The Middle Ages, 1066-1500
  3. The Sixteenth Century
  4. Everard Digby and his 'Art of Swimming'
  5. Digby's Successors and the Seventeenth Century
II A Short Introduction for to Learn to Swim, translated by Christopher Middleton from Digby's De Arte Natandi

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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