Elizabeth Boyle Fierce Appetites: Lessons from my year of untamed thinking


Code 9780241992432
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'Like nothing else you will read' Hilary Mantel

Top 25 History Books of the Year, The Times - the perfect gift for book lovers this Christmas!

Every day a beloved father dies. Every day a lover departs. Every day a woman turns forty.

All three happening together brings a moment of reckoning.

Medieval historian Elizabeth Boyle made sense of these events the best way she knew how - by immersing herself in the literature that has been her first love and life's work for over two decades.

Fierce Appetites is the exhilarating and deeply humane result. Not only does Elizabeth Boyle write dazzling accounts of ancient stories, familiar and obscure, from Ireland and further afield, but she uses her historical learning to grapple with the raw and urgent questions she faces, questions that have bedevilled people in every age. She writes on grief, addiction, family breakdown, the complexities of motherhood, love and sex, memory, class, education, travel (and staying put) with unflinching honesty, deep compassion and occasional dark humour.

Fierce Appetites is captivating and original - as an insight into the mind and heart of a groundbreaking scholar, and as a wise and reassuring account of what it is to be human.

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'A book of blazing honesty that allows all the gorgeous complexity of the past into our messy present to remind us we've always been like this'
- Max Porter

'Really REALLY good'
- Siobhan McSweeney

'Boyle has the skill to move us between the raw and the refined, the mind and the body, the past and the present, the mundane and the marvellous without ever losing control of her dark materials'
- Fintan O'Toole

'An astounding piece of writing'
- David Perry

'Just as brilliant and hard to define as everyone says it is. You should read it. You will both learn things and be entertained'
- Jan Carson

'An eloquent plea for the value of curiosity and the life of the mind, standing up the robustness of scholarship against the frailty of individuals, the resilience of myth against brittle daily preoccupations. It's an agile story, irreverent, capacious and constantly surprising: like nothing else you will read'
- Hilary Mantel

'Pure nectar for the imagination, and it's my book of 2022'
- Clodagh Finn, Irish Examiner

'Bracingly honest, fiery, funny, scholarly, Fierce Appetites really is a wildly good book'
- Hilary Fannin

'I just love it'
- John Connolly

'Unusual, arresting and genuinely enriching'
- Sharon Arbuthnot, Irish Times

'Highly original . . . engagingly candid [and] thought-provoking'
- Martina Devlin, Irish Independent

'I loved this luminous, radical book about bodies in time. It is a deeply personal history, that simultaneously brings medieval myth and poetry to breathing, bleeding life. An education for the mind and the heart'
- Clare Pollard


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