Latest Issue

Richard Burton on “The Drinking Man’s Diet”—and other unsuccessful meal plans of the rich and famous

In this month's "The way we were," Ian Irvine explores diets detailed in memoirs and letters

By Ian Irvine   October 2018

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton filming The Sandpiper (hopefully before lunch)


William Banting, undertaker, publishes his Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public:

“Of all the parasites that affect humanity I do not know of, nor can I imagine, any more distressing than that of Obesity, and, having just emerged from a very long probation in this affliction, I am desirous of circulating my humble knowledge and experience for the benefit of my fellow man.

“For breakfast, I take four or five ounces of beef, mutton, kidneys, broiled…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect