The Art of Swimming is a book about swimming that was authored by Captain Matthew Webb
, the first person to successfully swim across the English Channel
from England to France without the use of artificial aids. On 25 August 1875 he swam from Dover to Calais in less than 21 hours 45 minutes to inspire and educate the world about marathon swimming. His feat was not replicated for another 36 years.
In the book, he promoted the art of swimming as a life-saving skill.
Legacy of Matthew Webb
In 1909, Webb's elder brother Thomas unveiled a memorial in Dawley. On it reads the short inscription: "Nothing Great Is Easy." The memorial was taken away for repair after a lorry collided with it in February 2009. The landmark memorial was returned after full restoration and was hoisted back onto its plinth in Dawley High Street in October 2009.
Webb was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1963 as an Honour Swimmer and in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965.