“The Breakfast,” “Le Petit Dejeuner,” by early 20th century French artist Henri Lebasque, private collection. Source: Photo copyright Christie’s images/Bridgeman Images. Used with permission. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin follow Aragorn to meet the elves in a scene from Peter Jackson’s 2001 screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Says Aragorn, “Gentlemen, we do not stop till nightfall.” “What about breakfast?” asks Pip. “You’ve already had breakfast,” replies Aragorn. “Yes, we had one, but what about second breakfast?” “Don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip,” says Merry. “What about elevenses, luncheon … he knows about them, doesn’t he?” “I wouldn’t count on it.” Tolkien writes that hobbits typically eat six meals each day, three of which are eaten prior to lunch; references to breakfast occur throughout his books. Researchers, though, in recent years, are having a difficult enough time evaluating the value of eating one breakfast. Historically, the Catholic Church condemned eating breakfast. Medieval scholars have interpreted “eating too early,” one of 13th century Thomas Aquinas’ ways to commit the sin of gluttony, as referring to breakfast (Anderson, Breakfast: A History, 2013). Initially, only children and low-status farmers and workmen ate breakfast. By the 17th century, though, still… Read full this story
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