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Water Defences: The Arts of Swimming in Nineteenth-Century Culture

Cregan-Reid, Vybarr ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4346-3833 (2004) Water Defences: The Arts of Swimming in Nineteenth-Century Culture. Critical Survey, 16 (3). pp. 33-47.

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n Charles Dickens’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870), the Minor canon of Cloisterham Cathedral is introduced to the reader as a thoroughly muscular Christian. Crisparkle’s moral fibre is designated by a prolonged succession of adjectives; indeed, the only point at which this adjectival rhythm is ruptured is when the text pauses to describe the Reverend’s sophisticated and frequent swimming rituals. So proficient a swimmer is he, that when the crews that drag the river searching for Drood’s body fail to find any clues, it is Crisparkle we are told, who ‘threw off his clothes, […] plunged into the icy water, and swam for the spot. Climbing the timbers, he took from them […] a gold watch, bearing engraved upon its back E. D.’ (198).

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/001115704782351591
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9521

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