Writings on the Sober Life
The Art and Grace of Living LongBook - 2014
Alvise Cornaro (c.1484-1566) was the son of a Paduan innkeeper with presumed ties to the patrician Cornaro family of Venice. Highly ambitious, he acquired a name for himself as a businessman, architect, and patron of the arts. Critically ill around age 40 - likely with diabetes and gout - he resolved to abandon his intemperate lifestyle. The strict rules regarding food and drink that he adopted and which led to his recovery are outlined in his most famous treatise, the Vita Sobria (1558). The work, which featured prescriptions for living to 100 years - stressing healthy lifestyle, proper diet, and avoidance of excess -became an international success.
This edition offers the most comprehensive and faithful version of this early modern classic ever available in English, and includes Cornaro's Aggionta ("Addition"), translated here for the first time. An introductory essay by the late Marisa Milani offers biographical background and analysis and discusses the work's publication history. The volume also presents letters by Cornaro's contemporaries commenting on the treatise as well as his Eulogy, now viewed as having been written by Cornaro himself. A foreword by award-winning health journalist Greg Critser speaks to the continuing relevance of Cornaro's fascinating and seminal work.