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Brillat-Savarin (1755 - 1826), a lawyer and politician, was quite possibly the most famous French epicure and gastronome of all. Here he discourses on the pleasures of the table. His reputation was revitalized by his influence over Chairman Kaga of the TV series Iron Chef which introduced to millions the mot "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." He is often considered the father of the low-carbohydrate diet.
Generally regarded as the masterpiece of his early writing The Portrait of a Lady has young American Isabel inheriting a large amount of money and gaining freedom to travel the continent. Here she falls under the influence of two expatriate Americans who want her money. The work has met continuing critical acclaim and remains the most popular of James' longer works.
The Praise of Folly is considered one of the most influential works of literature in Western civilization and one of the catalysts of the Protestant Reformation. It starts as a piece of virtuoso foolery but then moves into some darker orations praising self-deception and madness. Published in 1511, Folly's influence echoed down the subsequent centuries and in part spawned the art of adoxography, the praise of worthless subjects.
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