Swell: A Waterbiography
Bloomsbury, £9.99 (paperback)
Swimming, believes Jenny Landreth, “can be a barometer for women’s equality”. Here she tells the fascinating story of the inspirational “swimming suffragettes” who went the extra mile, splashing and smashing through convention. Last week marked the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote, and Swell shows how other rights were denied, too – it wasn’t until the 1930s that women had equal access to swimming pools. Social history is interspersed with memoir of the author’s life in water, from being unable to swim (“the gush of panic at being out of my depth”), to adventures in night swimming. It’s a pleasure to be immersed in this educative, entertaining “waterbiography”, capturing how the ...