In the 1930s women were reluctantly granted equal access to swimming.
That means that until the 1930s, women did not have the charge down the beach into the frothy sea, to dive into vast open lakes, nor even to repeat length after length in a swimming pool. Swimming was strictly the domain of men.
Swell is the story of the women who took on the status quo and forced equal access to swimming. It’s a thank you to the ‘suffragettes of swimming’. The story of secret swimmers, of famous Olympians, and ordinary women’s relationships with water – including author Jenny Landreth. Above all, it’s a book dedicated to our swimming foremothers, who collectively made it possible for women to plunge with alacrity, anywhere we choose.
'Fascinating and full of possibility, it is also properly snort-with-giggles-on-the-commute funny.' - Alexandra Heminsley
'A wry and inspiring mix of memoir and social history' - Melissa Harrison