Daunt Books Jenny Landreth | Daunt Books

Jenny Landreth

Swell: A Waterbiography

Thursday 1st June at 6:30pm  |  Daunt Books Hampstead  |  Tickets £5.00

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Guardian swimming columnist Jenny Landreth will be discussing her new book, which is in part a memoir, and in part a social history of women swimmers. 

These days, swimming may seem like the most egalitarian of pastimes, open to anyone with a swimsuit – but this wasn't always the case. In the 19th century, swimming was exclusively the domain of men, and access to pools was a luxury limited by class. Women were (barely) allowed to swim in the sea, as long as no men were around, but even into the 20th century they could be arrested and fined if they dared dive into a lake. It wasn't until the 1930s that women were finally, and reluctantly, granted equal access. This is the story of the women who made that possible, a thank-you to the fearless 'swimming suffragettes' who took on the status quo, fought for equal access, and won. 

Swell uncovers a world of secret swimming in the face of these exclusions and shines a light on the 'swimming suffragettes'. It celebrates some amazing achievements, some ridiculous outfits and some fantastic swimmers who challenge the stereotypes of what women are capable of. It's also the story of how Jenny eventually came to be a keen swimmer herself. 

Swell is a joyful hymn to the sport and an exploration of why swimming attracts so many women. Ultimately, it is a book dedicated to our brilliant swimming foremothers who collectively made it possible for any woman to plunge in with alacrity, anywhere we choose.

 
“Fascinating and full of possibility, it is also properly snort-with-giggles-on-the-commute funny.” –  Alexandra Heminsley
 
As we jump into the waves with glee, Jenny Landreth asks us to consider 'swimming suffragettes' who kicked hard for change in the once male-dominated world of swimming, less than 100 years ago. Written through the prisms of memoir and social history, it's the quest for equality that rises to the top of a poignant narrative. – Coast

 

“If you love swimming you'll love this. If you hate swimming, you'll still love this. From over-upholstered matrons gingerly climbing down the steps of wheeled bathing huts, to young girls swimming jawdropping distances up The Thames, this captivating book bowls along with wit and charm.” –  Jo Brand

 

“A brilliantly funny book that made me feel part of a proud and intrepid community of amphibian women” –  Josie Long

Event Information

Thursday 1st June 2017
Event starts at 6:30pm .

This event takes place at Daunt Books Hampstead, 51 South End Road, London NW3 2QB

Ticket Information

Tickets will not be posted to you, they will be held under your surname at the entrance. If you choose to print your confirmation email, please show this at the entrance to redeem your tickets.