A Literary History of Chocolate: Coming Soon!

‘Chocolate is…the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.’

– Justus von Liebig

On the 23rd of September, we will be giving a public lecture as part of Durham University’s Late Summer Lecture Series. Our Literary History of Chocolate will be a whistle-stop tour of sumptuous highlights in literature from several continents. We will explore themes of colonial exploitation; the association of cocoa with extravagant luxury and desire; and cosmopolitanism. We will visit Alexander Pope’s London, the Venetian literary cafes of the eighteenth century, Joyce’s Dublin, and García Márquez’s Colombia.

We would love to hear your ideas about this topic. If you know a literary or imaginative text which features chocolate, please let us know and we will do our best to incorporate your ideas into our lecture! We would also love to see you at the lecture in September. But if you don’t live near Durham (hello to all our readers from India, Jordan, China, Australia, the USA…) the lecture will be available on podcast soon after.


2 thoughts on “A Literary History of Chocolate: Coming Soon!

  1. I am a post graduate student at University College Cork, Ireland and my area of scholarship is how food is used as a metatext in 20th century literature (in particular Irish fiction) My PhD thesis is on food in James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. I have prepared much research into chocolate but may I suggest that you look at Roland Barthes on Marquis de Sade? I look forward to any feedback and listening to the lecture on a podcast.


    1. Hi, thank you for your comment on our request for ideas for our ‘Literary History of Chocolate’. I (Amy) have already planned to talk about ‘Ulysses’ – specifically about the bar of chocolate Bloom has in the Circe section – and relate it to the range of foods imported from the colonies which are mentioned elsewhere in the novel. I have come across references to the Marquis de Sade’s liking for chocolate – but can you let us know exactly where Barthes writes about this? We really appreciate your suggestions and that you follow our blog.

      Liked by 1 person

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