On Corpulence

Feeding the Body and Feeding the Mind

by Lewis Carroll,

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781782272496
  • 9781782272632
Fat seemed to be getting fatter under Queen Victoria: Tweedledum and Tweedledee; Joe "the fat boy" in The Pickwick Papers; even the first known report of childhood obesity in 1859. But for the short, corpulent (and extremely success- ful) undertaker William Banting, the overweight life was not a bundle of laughs. It was only at the age of sixty, when he was unable to even "attend to the little offices which humanity requires, without considerable pain and difficulty", that he finally stumbled upon a cure: an early incarnation of the Atkins diet. Butter, potatoes, sugar, milk--all gone, in favour of fish, meat, dry toast (and seven glasses of claret a day).

And with the diet for the body came a diet for the mind: for Lewis Carroll, an indiscriminate intake of "fatty" information was just as harmful as carbohydrates--and in today's society of ever-increasing "consumption" of food, news and even relationships, Banting and Carroll are remarkably ahead of their time.

The books in "Found on the Shelves" have been chosen to give a fascinating insight into the treasures that can be found while browsing in The London Library. Now celebrating its 175th anniversary, with over seventeen miles of shelving and more than a million books, The London Library has become an unrivalled archive of the modes, manners and thoughts of each generation which has helped to form it.

From essays on dieting in the 1860s to instructions for gentlewomen on trout-fishing, from advice on the ill health caused by the "modern" craze of bicycling to travelogues from Norway, they are as readable and relevant today as they were more than a century ago--even if contemporary dieticians might not recommend quite such a regular intake of brandy!


From the Trade Paperback edition.
  • Steerforth Press; March 2017
  • ISBN 9781782272632
  • Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
  • Title: On Corpulence
  • Author: Lewis Carroll; William Banting (contrib.)
  • Imprint: Pushkin Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781782272496
  • 9781782272632

In The Press

"Forget the Christmas crackers – give everyone one of these beauties." — Ian Sansom, The Guardian

About The Author

William Banting was one of the foremost undertakers of the 19th century, and was personally responsible for the funerals of both the Duke of Wellington and Prince Albert. He was a short man who suffered increasing personal distress from fatness as he aged. His dieting pamphlet, Letter on Corpulence, was a runaway success, and he donated all proceeds to charity. William Banting died happy and healthy in 1878, aged eighty-one.

Lewis Carroll, the author, mathematician and photographer, is best known as the writer of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. He was interested in, among other things, proportional representation and fair voting practices, lawn tennis and gadgets. He ate frugally, disliked tea and died in 1898.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781782272496
  • 9781782272632