Daily Archives: November 14, 2011

Great Food, Beautiful Books

I am really not that interested in cooking (unusual for a blogger, I know), but for some reason I have always liked to read about food.  I also appreciate beautiful books, so Penguin UK’s Great Food series is just up my alley.  It includes 20 culinary classics from several centuries, all encased in beautiful covers crafted by the justly-famous British book designer Coralie Bickford-Smith. The series was released in Britain in late Spring, and in the US last month.

Two Trios of Titles and the Entire Stack.

Let’s look at a few titles in more detail.  There is a nice transition here from yesterday’s post on illustrator Frederick Stuart Church, who illustrated an edition of the early nineteenth-century English essayist Charles Lamb’s charmingly-titled A Dissertation upon Roast Pig.  So first we have the new Penguin edition, followed by an equally beautiful Wayside Arts & Crafts copy from the turn of the last century, and finally the Church illustration.  Great additions to the history of barbecue!

Gervase Markham, author of one of the first manuals for “hus-wives” in the seventeenth century, is offered to twenty-first century audiences in Penguin’s The Well-kept Kitchen. Markham has always offered a window into the early modern domestic world for both myself and my students, as has the eighteenth-century cookery writer, Hannah Glasse, whose Arte of Cookery has been refashioned as Everlasting Syllabub and the Art of Carving.  Below the modern variants are the title page to the 1831 edition of Markham’s English House-wife. Containing the inward and outward Virtues which ought to be in a complete Woman and (since we were on the topic), Hannah Glasse’s original recipe for roast pig.

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