Science, Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century Seminars in Trinity Term 2018: ‘What is health? It is chocolate!’: Chocolate, medicine, and writing in nineteenth-century France

Drinks will be served after each seminar. All welcome, no booking required.

Although France’s role in the development of chocolate from an Early Modern luxury to a popular product has been noted, nowhere has the French engagement with chocolate as medicine been examined in any depth. Moreover, the numerous literary engagements with this product in nineteenth-century novels remain unexplored. Taking up the call issued by the Chocolate History Project (UC Davis) for more research on chocolate in literature and in cookbooks, this paper will examine references to chocolate in scientific and medical texts from the period but also in gastronomic texts and novels to see to what extent principles regarding chocolate reached beyond the medical field, and also to reveal the rich and complex relations between chocolate and language.