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Health, Hedonism and Hypochondria

The Hidden History of Spas

Ian Bradley



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Tauris Parke
03 November 2020
From Romans to royalty and hypochondriacs to holiday-makers, natural water spas have been a common feature in society since the first century. Even today, we periodically abandon the cities to 'take the waters'.

In their heyday, Europe's spas were the main meeting places for aristocracy, politicians and cultural elites. They were the centres of political and diplomatic intrigue, and were fertile sources of artistic, literary and musical inspiration. The spas epitomised style and were renowned for their cosmopolitan atmosphere in a glittering whirl of balls, gambling and affairs, as much as for their healing waters.

Health, Hedonism & Hypochondria reveals the hidden histories of traditional spas of Europe, including such well-known resorts as the original Spa in Belgium; Bath, Buxton & Harrogate in Britain; Baden-Baden & Bad Ems in Germany; Vichy & Aix-les-Bains in France; Bad Ragaz in Switzerland; Bad Ischl & Baden bei Wien in Austria and Karlovy Vary & Marianske Lazne in the Czech Republic. At once luxurious sanctuaries of relaxation and resorts of the upper classes, they were also the haunts of melancholics, scoundrels and those seeking escape and excitement.
Imprint:   Tauris Parke
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   612g
ISBN:   9780755626465
ISBN 10:   075562646X
Pages:   304
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Acknowledgements Introduction - Der Kurschatten 1 Classical Origins 2 The Middle Ages - From Holy Wells to Stew Houses 3 The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries - the Birth of the Modern Medical Spa 4 The Eighteenth Century - the Emergence of Bath as the Model Spa 5 The Nineteenth Century - Baden-Baden Becomes the Boulevard of Europe 6 Hydrotherapy - a Short Sharp Douche of Cold Water 7 La Belle Epoque - the Flourishing of Karlsbad and Marienbad 8 The Last hundred Years Conclusion - Europe's Traditional Spas Today Bibliography Index

Ian Bradley is Emeritus Professor of Cultural and Spiritual History at the University of St Andrews and a prolific author, journalist and broadcaster. He has had a lifelong fascination with spas.

Reviews for Health, Hedonism and Hypochondria: The Hidden History of Spas

Plenty of shenanigans are recorded by the vigilant Ian Bradley... His new illustrated book is a labour of love - partly a history, partly a record of a lifelong scholarly hobby... While this book will be received as a scholarly contribution to the literature, it is also great fun: how many other titles can you think of containing five initial aitches? Bradley is a lively and informative guide... One emerges from this book refreshed, as from a multi-angled shower of warm water. -- Michael Wheeler * Church Times * Here is a book to rekindle your belief in all that is inventive, beautiful, eccentric and fascinating about the world - to flush a bit of joy back into your veins. And god, it's funny... Bradley has a gift for wrestling the most joyous morsels from his sources... Woven into this glorious, exhilarating history are hundreds of examples of the literature inspired by spas. -- Lucy Davies * The Sunday Telegraph * This book's subtitle is its real selling point. And as Ian Bradley makes clear in his highly entertaining prose, there was much reason to keep the history hidden ... * Airmail *

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