Rumbles: A Curious History of the Gut

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The stomach is notoriously outspoken. It growls, gurgles and grumbles while other organs remain silent, inconspicuous and content. For centuries humans have puzzled over this rowdy, often overzealous organ, deliberating on the extent of its influence over cognition, mental wellbeing and emotions, and wondering how the gut became so central to our sense of self.

Travelling from Ancient Greece to Victorian England, eighteenth-century France to modern America, cultural historian Elsa Richardson leads us on a lively tour of the gut, exploring all the ways that we have imagined, theorised and probed the mysteries of the gastroenterological system. We'll meet a wildly diverse cast of characters including Edwardian body builders, hunger-striking suffragettes, demons, medieval alchemists, and one poor teenage girl plagued by a remarkably vocal gut, all united by this singular organ.

Engaging, eye-opening and thought-provoking, Rumbles leaves no stone unturned, scrutinising religious tracts and etiquette guides, satirical cartoons and political pamphlets, in its quest to answer the millennia-old question: Are we really ruled by our stomachs?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781782838265
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2024


  • stomach
  • cultural history
  • gastroenterology


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