Auteur : Eric T. Jennings
la langue : en
Éditeur: Duke University Press
Date de sortie : 2006-10-04
“Beware! Against the poison that is Africa, there is but one antidote: Vichy.” So ran a 1924 advertisement for one of France’s main spas. Throughout the French empire, spas featuring water cures, often combined with “climatic” cures, thrived during the nineteenth century and the twentieth. Water cures and high-altitude resorts were widely believed to serve vital therapeutic and even prophylactic functions against tropical disease and the tropics themselves. The Ministry of the Colonies published bulletins accrediting a host of spas thought to be effective against tropical ailments ranging from malaria to yellow fever; specialized guidebooks dispensed advice on the best spas for “colonial ills.” Administrators were granted regular furloughs to “take the waters” back home in France. In the colonies, spas assuaged homesickness by creating oases of France abroad. Colonizers frequented spas to maintain their strength, preserve their French identity, and cultivate their difference from the colonized. Combining the histories of empire, leisure, tourism, culture, and medicine, Eric T. Jennings sheds new light on the workings of empire by examining the rationale and practice of French colonial hydrotherapy between 1830 and 1962. He traces colonial acclimatization theory and the development of a “science” of hydrotherapy appropriate to colonial spaces, and he chronicles and compares the histories of spas in several French colonies—Guadeloupe, Madagascar, Tunisia, and Réunion—and in France itself. Throughout Curing the Colonizers, Jennings illuminates the relationship between indigenous and French colonial therapeutic knowledge as well as the ultimate failure of the spas to make colonialism physically or morally safe for the French.
Auteur : Douglas P. Mackaman
la langue : en
Éditeur: University of Chicago Press
Date de sortie : 1998-12-01
The artful use of one's free time was a discipline perfected by the French in the nineteenth century. Casinos, alpine hiking, hotel dinners, romantic gardens, and lavish parks were all part of France's growing desire for the ideal vacation. Perhaps the most intriguing vacation, however, was the ever popular health resort, and this is the main topic of Douglas Mackaman's fascinating study. Taking us into the vibrant social world of France's great spas, Mackaman explores the links between class identity and vacationing. Mackaman shows how, after 1800, physicians and entrepreneurs zealously tried to break their milieu's strong association with aristocratic excess and indecency by promoting spas as a rational, ordered equivalent to the busy lives of the bourgeoisie. Rather than seeing leisure time as slothful, Mackaman argues, the bourgeoisie willingly became patients at spas and viewed this therapeutic vacation as a sensible, even productive, way of spending time. Mackaman analyzes this transformation, and ultimately shows how the premier vacation of an era made and was made by the bourgeoisie.
Auteur : Annick Cossic
la langue : en
Éditeur: Cambridge Scholars Pub
Date de sortie : 2006
Originating from the age-old belief that water springing from the depths was endowed with healing properties, spas, which first blossomed in the West during the heyday of the Roman Empire, again gained importance and fame in the 18th and 19th centuries, as the increasing medicalisation of thermal water drew crowds to the best-sited or best-organised watering places of European economically developed countries. As, in most cases, none but the social elites could afford to spend time and money in such spots, investment followed, both in terms of architecture and of leisure, since visitors, after having been convinced by their physicians, high society journals or word of mouth, had to be kept happy as well as made fit. Simultaneously competition grew as spas vied for patronage, both within national borders and across Europe, the alleged quality of their waters being flaunted in the jingoistic battles of words which served as forerunners to the grislier actions of WW1. Being the major lieus of high society leisure and pleasure, spas underwent the same decline as the prewar moneyed classes which patronized them and lost ground, both to more exotic destinations and to seaside resorts, which, likewise, promoted health and well-being, but in a less elitist environment and at a cheaper price. Thalassotherapy, grafting on the success of the latter and making much of the relaxation and physical fitness derived from natural elements such as seawater or seaweeds, is the latest avatar of that long story which the papers of the conference held in Brest (France) in May 2005 here purport to tell.