Gluttony and Gratitude

Miltons Philosophy of Eating

By (author) Emily E. Stelzer

Paperback - £31.95

Publication date:

15 June 2019

Length of book:

376 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271083766

Despite the persistence and popularity of addressing the theme of eating in Paradise Lost, the tradition of Adam and Eve’s sin as one of gluttony—and the evidence for Milton’s adaptation of this tradition—has been either unnoticed or suppressed. Emily Stelzer provides the first book-length work on the philosophical significance of gluttony in this poem, arguing that a complex understanding of gluttony and of ideal, grateful, and gracious eating informs the content of Milton’s writing. Working with contextual material in the fields of physiology, philosophy, theology, and literature and building on recent scholarship on Milton’s experience of and knowledge about matter and the body, Stelzer draws connections between Milton’s work and both underexamined textual influences (including, for example, Gower’s Confessio Amantis) and well-recognized ones (such as Augustine’s City of God and Galen’s On the Natural Faculties).

“Quite a good book of its kind, its particular virtue being the scope of its inquiry, which extends from heaven to hell and from the garden of Eden to the fallen present, in the process offering an integrated overview of the role of dietary concerns in Milton’s work.”

—Bruce Boehrer, Modern Philology