Joan Smith

More of Jesus, Less of Me

Calories & Corsets: A History of Dieting over 2000 Years

By

Profile Books 240pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

A book about dieting is almost bound by law to have a picture of a woman on the cover. But Louise Foxcroft’s entertaining and occasionally stomach-churning history of the subject is a revelation about the weight problems of men. Daniel Lambert, who was born in Leicester in 1770, was just over five feet tall and weighed fifty-two stone; when he died, at the age of thirty-nine, he was rolled through the streets in a wheeled coffin to his grave: ‘Corpulency’, it was said at the time, ‘constantly increased until the clogged machinery of life stood still, and this prodigy of Mammon was numbered with the dead.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,