In Which an Aging Professor Laments His Shrinking Brain

336pp 4 ILLUS 2011 OUT OF PRINT Y032




In the opening pages, Miller warns, ‘the general themes . . . may strike some as glum and grim’. Yet humour leavens each page as he confronts old age, its humiliations and its hardships. Taking an entirely original approach – using personal reflection, social science analysis and, above all, a deep knowledge of Anglo-Saxon literature and culture – Miller frees us from facile stereotypes and presents a portrait of old age that is honest, nuanced and enriched by an understanding of the human experience of aging since Greek and Roman antiquity. He conjures a lost world of aging rituals – complaints, taking to bed, resentments of one’s heirs, schemes for taking it with you or settling up accounts and scores – to remind us of the dilemmas when ‘your mental abilities are on a bullet train heading south’.

This is a very good book, witty, graceful and erudite, about a subject of more or less pressing concern to all. THE OLDIE