This chapter begins with a short discussion of the history and development of the modern spa with a focus on Ireland and how that history in part reflects wider narratives of boom and bust. It describes the micro-geographies of spa sites alongside wider discussions on classification and regulation to show how wellness and tourism geographies overlap in such spaces. The chapter looks at the modern spa through the lens of therapeutic landscapes and critically discusses the different practices identifiable at the sites, both of health/wellness but also of conspicuous consumption. In looking at the rise and uncertain future of the modern Irish spa, one could consider it a revealing representation of the excesses that characterised the Celtic Tiger era. The chapter concludes by showing how applying a critical therapeutic landscapes approach can enable us to see spas as sites where complex and contested social relations are acting out in place.
Geographical networks of auxiliary medical care in the First World War
Throughout the First World War, a set of complex geographical networks were developed across the British Empire, which led the wounded soldier from the Front back through a series of therapeutic nodal points, to rehabilitation and treatment in a range of established and auxiliary hospitals. This chapter outlines two aspects of these relational geographies. Firstly, it maps the physical networks to show the ways in which a nodal structure of relational spaces of treatment, often ephemeral and temporary, was developed and constructed from the Front to across the British Isles. Typically, such sites were drawn from pre-war hydros, hotels, schools and private homes. Secondly, a number of examples of Auxiliary Hospital spaces at sites such as Blarney, Bray, Dublin and Glengariff are described. In addition, Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute in Scotland was managed by an Irishwoman and provides an especially well-documented example of how the Auxiliary Hospital functioned both as an ephemeral space of care but also as part of a wider set of therapeutic pathways from the Front to home and back again. Finally, the levels of civilian medical knowledge were enhanced and enlarged in such settings.