Writings on the Sober Life: The Art and Grace of Living Long

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 251 pages

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.


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Introduction to Cornaro by Marisa Milani
Letter to Bishop Cornelio Musso by Bernardino Tomitano
A Treatise on the Sober Life by the Magnificent Messer Luigi Cornaro Noble Venetian
Addition to the Treatise on the Sober Life by Messer Alvise Cornaro
A Brief Compendium of The Sober Life by Alvise Cornaro With Many Things Added Especially Useful and Necessary for Those Who Are Old
Letter Written by the Magnificent Alvise Cornaro to the Most Reverend Barbaro Patriarch Elect of Aquileia
A Loving Exhortation by the Magnificent Messer Alvise Cornaro
Eulogy for Alvise Cornaro
Selected Letters
How to Attain Immortality Living One Hundred Years or The Fortune of the Vita Sobria in the AngloSaxon World
Selected Terminology

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About the author (2014)

Hiroku Fudemoto is a translator based in Los Angeles.

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