It is a pity we never learn what Julian and Maddalo actually ate for dinner that memorable evening, and still more so that their preoccupation with the Maniac prevents us from hearing them discuss their dinner, or dinners in general. Given the intense relationship with food, eating and diet sustained by both Shelley and Byron, the subject might have made a good topic for the semi-autobiographical conversation and argument of the poem. Shelley might have deployed his self-image in Julian as a politically-motivated, idealistic partaker of food, and Maddalo/Byron would no doubt have responded with impatience at such ‘Utopian’ talk on a subject so resistant to meliorism. 2