Charles Sprawson is the author of Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero. (September 2001)

IN THE REVIEW

Death of a Champion

The Crossing: The Glorious Tragedy of the First Man to Swim the English Channel

by Kathy Watson
Throughout the nineteenth century the English were generally considered the best swimmers in the world. Ever since Waterloo was supposedly won on the playing fields of Eton, their enthusiasm for sport and games became almost their distinguishing feature, a source of fascination to the rest of Europe. “They even taught …