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I like the idea of food books, think I'll go looking for some of these.


These little books look delicious in more ways than one. (I'm afraid they'd make me hungry though!) I like MFK Fisher, too, and have an edition that contains several of her books, including Gastronomical Me, I think. It's one I hope to get to this year as I try to read from my own shelves.

Christine Harding

A Little Dinner Before the Play is in Agnes Jekyll's 'Kitchen Notes' (Persephone), which I thoroughly enjoyed - especially the essay on food for motor excursions. She writes about a forgotten world, with maids, and cooks who must have spent hours producing her recipes! Do read it if you get the chance.

A Dissertation Upon Roasting a Pig and Other Essays by Charles Lamb is another must read. It's in my collection of his essays, and is beautifully written, and very funny, especially the first half.

I've got a few of the other titles in this series (I pick them up if I find them in charity shops). Eliza Acton is very down to earth and very good on techniques and quantities, while Claudia Roden and Elizabeth David are an absolute joy to read, because they're such sensual writers. And I though Hannah Glasse was interesting, because of the period.

Actually, I think there's a whole social history in cookery books - after all, they reflect the age in which they were written, as well as their target audience.


They are great little books--I have a number of these little Penguins--all different series--travel, food, nature and even a whole series on the London Underground lines! And I think you can get individual titles second hand really cheap!


They are! I love Penguins in general! MFK Fisher is wonderful--I bought a number of her books after I read Gastronomical Me--I am not in any way any sort of connoisseur but her writing is most of the fun. She's an author to look forward to reading, I think! :)


I wonder if the Persephone edition of the Jekyll book has more essays in it than the Penguin? I very much enjoyed the essays I read and so will have to check that Persephone book out now! Thanks for the heads up on the other titles--I am looking forward to reading them all and this will help immensely when I go to select a new book from the series! I tried to put them in some sort of order hoping to read them by when approximately they were written but I have to admit I got bogged down in the Markham--set it aside and just lost the thread on all of them--hopefully I am back to reading them in a proper manner. And I totally agree that cookery books really are a form of social history--even traveling I love trying new foods and looking at supermarkets--it is amazing what you can learn by the things people eat and how their supermarkets are laid out and the foods they sell!


I remember these books! Has it been that long? You are making me hungry just reading about them and I just had lunch! A baked apple would be really yummy right now since it is grey and rainy out.


Yes, my how time flies! I was a little shocked when I looked through my archives. Maybe the timing was off, but now I am very much in the mood. Apples are my favorite--if it is baked I think a little cinnamon, some raisins and walnuts would be in order as well! :) Yum.

vicki (bibliolathas / skiourophile)

I love MFK's writing - although I agree that sometimes the food itself isn't the greatest appeal in the books. I like, too, that she has that ability to capture the pathos of a situation so well - her lows are as well-rendered as her highs.


I am the first to admit to not having a very sophisticated palate. Give me bread and peanut butter and I am happy...all the more so if there is some strawberry jam, too. But she is such an elegant writer that she can write about whatever she likes and I will love it--might not try the food, but I will enjoy how she talks about it.

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