Victoria Baths (Lido)

Show on map

Oakfield Place, Clifton, BS8 2BJ

In a letter to Henry Graham Dakyns:
“I went on the afternoon of the 22nd to the Victoria Swimming Baths, as I occasionally do, to smoke my cigar and to learn the secrets of Form. It so happened that the sun was very fierce & glorious that day and that there were many bathers there – some of distinguished quality. Two in particular I studied & named them Βάθυλλος άναδυόμενος and ερως ἀσελγής. They were, I think, respectively a City Clerk & a street Arab. Anyhow, the sight operated on my imagination, not suggesting any definite subject, but supplying fuel as it were for the fires. For four days I was restless with the impulse thus added & the furnace glowed quite ineffectually. But on the evening of the fourth day, as I as listening to my sister’s music, I saw the shrine of Aristogeiton at Athens & nine men there of whom 8 were lovers and one of the lovers was Theron & the boy’s name was Myronides. These are the processes by wh I am driven, at times, in spite of all my γράφαι ὀστρακισμοῦ to write. It is not necessary to do anything so elaborate as to visit the Victoria Baths in order to receive the necessary shock. A face passed in the street will do it.”1

  1. John Addington Symonds, Robert L. Peters (Editor), Herbert M. Schueller, The Letters of John Addington Symonds, Vol. 2 : 1869-1884, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1968, p675 []