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What’s this book? (Food & History)

(57 Posts)
FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 06:37:58

Hello
It came out around 5 to 10 years ago.
It was about the social history of food; in particular how food stuff (flour etc) used to be adulterated with all manner of horrible stuff.
I think that was mainly concerned with the Victorian era.
It was a Radio 4 Book of the Week.
Can anyone help please? I’d really like to read it, or, more likely, listen to it
Thank you!

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 06:44:33

PS if you can recommend any other books about food and history; or indeed any social history of the UK, please do so.
I like Ruth Goodman.
Thank you!

Ladyleftfieldlover Sun 29-Aug-21 07:53:56

I have a list, which I’ll let you have when I get back from London this evening.

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 08:02:59

Ooh! Thank you ?
I look forward to that!

notnecessarilywiser Sun 29-Aug-21 08:06:29

Could it have been Scoff by Pen Vogler? I saw her talking about it at last year's Hay Festival Online, which prompted me to buy a copy.

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 08:08:56

Thanks not, I’ve just had a look on Amazon, and it’s not that; but that book looks brilliant. Right up my street

M0nica Sun 29-Aug-21 08:11:49

FannyCornforth not the book you are looking for. But I would highly recommend 'Food in Britain' by Dorothy Hartley. It was first published in 1954 and hasn't been out of print since.

Hartley wrote wonderful stuff about the agriculture, husbandry, cooking, homemaking, and eating of England from the Neolithic Age onwards, concentrating mostly on medieval and early modern food practices that continued and/or were adapted, mostly in country foodways, through the 19th and 20th centuries. This is from a quote from a review and I couldn't put it better, so haven't tried to.

I read and reread this regularly. One part that stays with me is the instructions and diagrams of how the bargees would cook the whole family meal, main course and pudding, in a bucket, carefully layering it so no one part contaminates another. The book is full of such revelations.

When he was staying with us my DF, then in his 90s, picked the book up and read it cover to cover.

MaizieD Sun 29-Aug-21 08:22:01

M0nica

FannyCornforth not the book you are looking for. But I would highly recommend 'Food in Britain' by Dorothy Hartley. It was first published in 1954 and hasn't been out of print since.

Hartley wrote wonderful stuff about the agriculture, husbandry, cooking, homemaking, and eating of England from the Neolithic Age onwards, concentrating mostly on medieval and early modern food practices that continued and/or were adapted, mostly in country foodways, through the 19th and 20th centuries. This is from a quote from a review and I couldn't put it better, so haven't tried to.

I read and reread this regularly. One part that stays with me is the instructions and diagrams of how the bargees would cook the whole family meal, main course and pudding, in a bucket, carefully layering it so no one part contaminates another. The book is full of such revelations.

When he was staying with us my DF, then in his 90s, picked the book up and read it cover to cover.

More agreement, MOnica. shock It's a wonderful book. I cherish my copy. But is it still obtainable?

Looking forward to seeing Ladyleftfieldlover's list..

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 08:30:16

Thank you M0nica that looks excellent.
Yes, it is Maizie, in paperback and on kindle, but I think that I might buy a secondhand hardback. It’s a huge tome!

Nannarose Sun 29-Aug-21 08:43:26

I too, love Food in England (as my copy is called). I suggest contacting Books for Cooks. They don't do an 'online' catalogue, but if you speak to them they will usually find what you are looking for.

www.booksforcooks.com/
I also have Good Things in England by Florence White (1932) that I think was referenced both by Dorothy Hartley and the book that Fanny is talking about - I heard it on the radio, but can't remember its title.

MaizieD Sun 29-Aug-21 09:14:18

Actually, I think I had better stay away from this thread as I will Want To Buy all the recommended books and I have far too many already ?

Good Things in England sounds very tempting

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 09:38:00

I think that I’ve found it! smile

‘Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee’ by Bee Wilson.

It was first published in 2008.
It seems that it isn’t in print anymore, and it’s not available on kindle. I was even expecting it to be on Audible…
I’m very surprised as it won lots of awards.
There is only one second hand copy available, and it’s £26.59! shock

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 09:41:25

Thank you for your recommendation nannarose.
I will look for the Florence White book.

Keep the food / history book ideas coming please!

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 09:45:11

Bee Wilson is the daughter of AN Wilson

FannyCornforth Sun 29-Aug-21 09:47:30

I’m wrong - it is still in print (a more palatable- geddit?- £9.99)

MaizieD Sun 29-Aug-21 09:48:49

FannyCornforth

Thank you for your recommendation nannarose.
I will look for the Florence White book.

Keep the food / history book ideas coming please!

Oh dear, despite my resolution I just bought it. It's available second hand from lots of outlets. I bought it from World of Books, £7.99 + free postage. Site said it had 3 copies (only 2 now!)

Lizzie72 Sun 29-Aug-21 09:51:03

I found these interesting (I’ll put pics / not sure how to do links)

Callistemon Sun 29-Aug-21 09:55:52

I'm sure I remember a TV programme on a similar theme FannyCornforth

If only I could remember it hmm

Callistemon Sun 29-Aug-21 09:59:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Callistemon Sun 29-Aug-21 10:02:20

Sorry, the link doesn't work

MaizieD Sun 29-Aug-21 10:04:21

not sure how to do links)

Copy the page's address from the address bar and post it into your message. Gnet automatically publishes it as a clickable link . It's easy.

MaizieD Sun 29-Aug-21 10:04:51

Sorry, 'paste', not 'post'.

Redhead56 Sun 29-Aug-21 10:31:05

I was watching food historian Ivan Day a few years ago he was preparing food from this book. It s very interesting A Boke of Gode Cookery James Matterers a history of food. It is the correct spelling from the time of publication.

MaizieD Sun 29-Aug-21 10:57:37

While food history is interesting I don't think we should forget that lovely tasty well cooked food was the norm in the past. There were a lot of poor people around with very restricted diets and limited access to foods that could well be adulterated.

When we're thinking of 'traditional' cookery there are strands we might like to forget.

Vegetables boiled to extinction, anybody?

MaizieD Sun 29-Aug-21 10:58:36

Oops. Proof reading fail.. wasn't the norm...
{blush}