Healing with Water: English Spas and the Water Cure 1840-1960 (Hardcover) by Adams Jane M.
Healing with water provides a medical and social history of English spas and hydropathic centres from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. It argues that demand for healing rather than leisure drove the growth of a number of inland resorts which became renowned for expertise and treatment facilities. These aspects were actively marketed to doctors and patients. It assesses the influence of these centres on broader patterns of resort development leisure and sociability in Britain. The study explores ideas about water's healing potential and the varied ways it was used to maintain good health and treat a variety of illnesses. Water cures were endorsed by both orthodox and unorthodox practitioners and attracted growing numbers of patients into the twentieth century. It examines how institutions and skilled workers shaped the development of specialist resorts and considers why the NHS support for spa treatment declined from the 1960s.