Gotta eat them all!
January 31, 2006 11:20 PM   Subscribe

Who was the person who famously intended to eat one of every animal?

I vaugely recall reading a popular science book a few years ago that as an aside told of a man with such a desire. Google has only turned up newer, presumably independant attempts. Memory suggests that this person was also responsible for eating the preserved heart of someone else famous (I thought Napoleon, but no dice).
Bonus points for identifying the book.
posted by scodger to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
I'm not sure what the guy's name is, but I think it was mentioned in a Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson. A quick scan isn't finding the name though. Of course, I listened to the book on my ipod so the paper copy is pretty unfamiliar.
posted by mdbell79 at 11:39 PM on January 31, 2006

Got it... on page 69 of the paperback: The Reverand William Buckland, who at home served such delicacies as "baked guinea pig, mice in batter, roasted hedgehog, or boiled Southeast Asian sea slug."

No mention of Napolean's heart though.
posted by mdbell79 at 11:42 PM on January 31, 2006

Thanks, that was really fast. A bit of googling gives page,
"Talk of strange relics led to mention of the heart of a French King preserved at Nuneham in a silver casket. Dr. Buckland, whilst looking at it, exclaimed, 'I have eaten many strange things, but have never eaten the heart of a king before,' and, before anyone could hinder him, he had gobbled it up, and the precious relic was lost for ever."
Guess I must have done some googling after the first time I read it.
posted by scodger at 11:56 PM on January 31, 2006

Another version of the heart story is here:
During the French Revolution the tomb of the French king was wrecked and plundered. His heart was stolen and sold to Lord Harcourt who later sold it to the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend William Buckland. One night at dinner, the Dean, who liked to experiment with food, ate the embalmed heart!
But is that true? It sounds too perfect to be anything but apocryphal.
posted by pracowity at 2:23 AM on February 1, 2006

Yeah there seems to be a number of differing versions of the story out there. The best one I could find was the one I quoted above, the cite leads to:
"Hare, A. 1952. The story of my life. Vol. 5. George Allen, London, xix + 470 pp, 6 pls."

Given that no other versions I found had given sources, this is likely to be the most reliable, however given that Augutus Hare was known for his extremely long and diffuse bibliography, and is described as a raconteur, it may be best to take the heart with a grain of salt.
posted by scodger at 3:25 AM on February 1, 2006

Someone should get the Mythbusters on it. Get them to cook up an embalmed heart and have one of their little sidekicks eat it.
posted by spicynuts at 6:43 AM on February 1, 2006

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