10th Wilhelm Levison Memorial Lecture: Sweetness and Bitterness. The Sense of Taste in and around Anglo-Saxon England
The lecture will be followed by an optional drinks reception. Book your place here.
The sense of taste did not have a good reputation in the early Middle Ages: it was connected with ideas of gluttony and it was considered one of the grossest of the five senses. This does not mean the Anglo-Saxons did not have a discourse about taste. If we consider it along with that of their Welsh and Frankish neighbours, it appears that a "system of tastes" was polarized by sweetness and bitterness, two flavours with opposite significations and connotations.
Alban Gautier holds a doctorate and agrégation in history. He is currently professor of medieval history at the University of Caen Normandie (France). He published a French translation of Asser's Life of King Alfred (Paris: 2013), along with several books and articles on the history of food, Anglo-Saxon England and Northern Europe in the early Middle Ages, such as Le Festin dans l'Angleterre anglo-saxonne (Rennes: 2006), Alimentations médiévales, Ve-XVIe siècle (Paris: 2009), and most recently Beowulf au paradis. Figures de bons païens dans l'Europe du Nord au haut Moyen Âge (Paris: 2017).
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