The Lure of the Sea

The Lure of the Sea : Discovery of the Seaside in the Western World, 1750-1840

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This work describes how the pleasures of the seaside were discovered in the western world. It charts the changes in the popular view of the shore and the rise of the coastal resort as a place of recreation and rest. Corbin argues that, with few exceptions, people living before the 18th century knew nothing of the attractions of the coast. The image of the ocean in the popular consciousness was coloured by biblical and mythical recollections of sea monsters, voracious whales and catastrophic floods. It was perceived as sinister and unchanging, a dark, unfathomable force inspiring horror rather than attraction. These associations of catastrophe and fear in the minds of Europeans intensified the repulsion they felt towards deserted and dismal shores. Corbin sets out to show how, with the Englightenment, a profound change occurred in people's attitudes towards the sea. During the period between 1750 and 1840, the discovery of the seaside as a place of pleasure and relaxation led to the rapid growth of British coastal towns such as Brighton, followed by the other resorts in Europe, from Deauville to Marbella and the Greek Isles. With references to the literature and visual arts of the period, Corbin describes the changing habits and fashions of visitors to these resorts, from the patients sent under doctors' orders to bathe in ice-cold seawater, to the women bathers of the 19th century who avoided indiscrete gazes by entering the waves through specially-designed more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 38.1mm | 1,020.58g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • French
  • notes, illustrations
  • 0745607322
  • 9780745607320

Table of contents

1. The Roots of Fear and Repulsion 2. The First Steps Toward Admiration 3. A New Harmony Between the Body and the Sea 4. Penetrating the World's Enigmas 5. The Freshness of Wonder 6. The Ephemeral Journey 7. The Visit of the Harbor 8. The Encyclopaedia of the Strands 9. A World of Transparent Characters 10. The Pathos of the Shores and its Metamorphoses 11. Inventing the more

Rating details

38 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 32% (12)
4 37% (14)
3 21% (8)
2 5% (2)
1 5% (2)
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