The spa came into its own in Georgian Britain, with thousands flocking to take the waters at towns such as Bath, Cheltenham and Tunbridge Wells. As these towns grew, mixing with fashionable society became probably more important than seeking the benefits of bathing, which in any case often involved immersion in a mix of pure spa mineral water and an often filthy swill of dirt and sickly bodies. Ian Rotherham here traces the story of spa bathing, from Roman and medieval times, through its heyday in Georgian and Victorian Britain, to its demise in the twentieth century and its recent revival. Enlivened by a wealth of colorful illustrations, this book is a perfect introduction to changing attitudes to public bathing and health, and an excellent guide to the spa-related rise of some of Britain's most famous towns.
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