THE MALVERN WATER CURE
John Winsor Harcup: 978-1-902918-52-5
The Birth of a Spa Town
The Water Cure, otherwise known as Hydropathy, was one of the most important alternative treatments of the last century, along with homeopathy and hypnosis, it swept through Europe. A Welsh physician, James Wilson, disillusioned with contemporary drug treatment, which did more harm than good to patients, tried the new regime at the Silesian Spa of Graefenberg.
He filled his friend, Dr James Gully, with enthusiasm to found a 'Graefenberg in England'. The hills and pure water of Malvern fitted their requirements and this book relates how the town became the foremost centre for Hydropathy in the United Kingdom.
To the sophisticated reader of the twentieth century, the activities both of doctors and patients involved in The Cure, are almost unbelievable. What patients had to endure in Malvern borders on the hilarious. Those who came, and what was done to them in the pursuit of health, made the little town famous.
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Another Malvern doctor, John Harcup, OBE, who practised for over 39 years in this former Victorian Spa, has thoroughly researched this little-known aspect of medical history. He has written several books on the locality and his photographs illustrate his lectures and writing. In addition to his collection of Malvern memorabilia, he helped to found the Malvern Museum of which he is now a director.