Henry James: a fad diet fanatic

In the 1910’s, Horace Fletcher, a San Francisco art dealer, became known as “the Great Masticator” because he advocated “chew[ing] every morsel of food until no more taste [could] be extracted from it.” Henry James was, for a time, a convert:

Henry James began with great enthusiasm, giving Fletcher’s book “The New Glutton” to his neighbors and claiming it changed his life. He wrote to Edith Wharton about “the divine Fletcher” and to his friend Mrs. Humphrey Ward: “Am I a convert, you ask? A fanatic.” But after five years, he was having stomach troubles his doctor attributed to Fletcherism. James found himself “more and more sickishly loathing food.”

(Via Shaken & Stirred.)


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