On lunch-break yesterday, I began reading an essay comparing Julian of Norwich's ideas to those of Sir Thomas Browne. My lunch was a falafel roll-up with hummus; an inappropriate choice of food considering my Fenland reading material, it seemed, so I eventually lost my appetite for both and finished neither. A slice of bread and a hunk of cheese would have been more complementary, I suppose. Perhaps kippered herring on toast?
So what type of lunch goes with which particular authors? It's an interesting question. Here is a short list of my own suggestions, based on practical experience.
Mary Shelley: whatever's in the fridge and can be thrown together.
Samuel Johnson: liquid lunch of strong ale.
Ovid: grapes, obviously.
Herman Melville: fish chowder or other hearty soup.
Andre Malraux: some sort of thin, plain wafer
Rosamond Lehmann: a small sugar lozenge.
William Langland: an apple.
Anthony Powell: twelve course chef's special
Mark Twain: mixed bean salad
Evelyn Waugh: two bananas
Cicero: frankly I'd rather starve than read Cicero at lunch.