November 2017 | 350 pages | cloth | ISBN: 978-0-8207-0708-2
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. Stelzer works with contextual material in the fields of physiology, philosophy, theology, and literature and builds from recent scholarship on Milton’s experience of and knowledge about matter and the body to draw 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).
EMILY E. STELZER iis assistant professor of literature and program director for English and Great Texts at Houston Baptist University.