From the Saxons to Mary Berry: A Visual History of the English Cookbook
Across a thousand years of manuscripts and over five hundred years of publishing, English recipe books have reflected the eating habits of Kings and courtiers, the merchant classes, inn-keepers and restaurant owners, as well as home cooks and even the paupers who visited the soup kitchens of Victorian London. Cookbooks are full of extraordinary food but also extraordinary illustrations from medieval illuminated manuscripts, via the engravings of the eighteenth century and the colour lithographs of Mrs. Beeton, to the high-end life-style images of the modern TV cook. This lecture tells the story of the development of the cookbook and along the way will tempt you, or indeed disgust you, with a few choice recipes.
Peter has a History of Art degree, an MA in London history, a PhD in the cultural history of an English Criminal, and qualifications in the teaching of adults. Currently Principal Librarian at Guildhall Library, he has for 20 years lectured on a broad range of topics including the history of English books, portraiture, and London history. Peter has appeared on TV and radio as a consultant on the 18th century criminal Jack Sheppard and on the history of English food. His most recent publication, The Curious Cookbook, was published by the British Library.