Elizabeth Swann investigates the relationship between the physical sense of taste and taste as a figurative term associated with knowledge and judgment in early modern literature and culture. She argues that - unlike aesthetic taste in the eighteenth century - discriminative taste was entwined with embodied experience in this period. Although taste was tarnished by its associations with Adam and Eve's fall from Eden, it also functioned positively, as a source of useful, and potentially redemptive, literary, spiritual, experimental, and intersubjective knowledge. Taste and Knowledge in Early Modern England juxtaposes canonical literary works by authors such as Shakespeare with a broad range of medical, polemical, theological, philosophical, didactic, and dietetic sources. In doing so, the book reveals the central importance of taste to the experience and articulation of key developments in the literate, religious, and social cultures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.Read more
- Offers the first full and detailed account of the sense of taste in early modern England
- Draws on texts from a vast spectrum of genres in order to offer a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary account of taste
- Makes use of, and engages critically with, the influential approach known as 'historical phenomenology,' reframing this as a methodological tool
Reviews & endorsements
'Taste and Knowledge in Early Modern England is densely researched and evidenced, its ideas lucidly articulated.' Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, Times Literary Supplement
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- Date Published: November 2022
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108720755
- length: 279 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.409kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. 'To Dream to Eat Books': of bibliophagy, bees, and literary taste
2. Anatomizing taste: practice, subjectivity, and sense in Mikrokosmographia
3. From Eve's apple to the 'Bread of Life': piety and palate in devotional literature
4. The 'Fruits of Natural knowledge': taste and the early Royal Society
5. 'Honey Secrets': erotic sweetness and epistemology
Afterword: 'The Way to Know'.
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