The Art of Swimming, with Observations on The Saving of Life, Sea Bathing, Training for Swimmers, Etc. Etc. - Harry Gurr Circa 1868 - Henry Lea, 13 Paternoster Row - Second Printing ‘Swimming,I contend, is the most useful of all the accomplishments which go to make up the complete education of a gentleman.’

A fabulous and rare little illustrated guide to the art of 19th century swimming, written by the champion swimmer of England, Harry Gurr, and featuring chapters on floating, diving, treading water, life saving, bathing in the ocean, how to teach swimming, and ‘swimming for ladies’.

With illustrations.

One in the series of ‘The Champion Handbooks’ first published by Darton & Hodge circa 1865, this second printing came out circa 1868 by publisher Henry Lea who moved into his premises of 13 Paternoster Row (which is shown on the title page) in August of 1868. He continued advertising from 13 Paternoster Row until April 1869, before disappearing until February 1870, when he turned up at 147 Fleet Street. From this we can date this little work as being published between 1868 and 1869. The copyright and publication of this series was later taken over by Dean & Son, who continued to advertise this title as late as 1895.
  References: Ralph Thomas, ‘Swimming’, 302-307. Web - Bear Alley blog [].

Small octavo (book size 16.8x10.12cm)), pp. viii [1] 10-56. Original pictorial cloth with illustration of a boy diving into a lake to upper cover.
  Condition: Good only, binding reinforced at spine and edges of boards, tape repair to inner hinge of title page and pages 16-17, rear hinge reinforced, a few gatherings over-opened and splitting, some toning and foxing throughout, name and date of 1875in red pencil to front pastedown.   Ref: 107646   Price: HK$ 800