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Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History (Victorian Life and Times) Hardcover – 30 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger Publishers Inc.,U.S. (30 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275987086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275987084
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,217,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Food and Cooking in Victorian England is a valuable book. Broomfield's research is far-reaching and her historical arguments are insightful. Her descriptions of Victorian food are terrifically appealing, and her use of recipe books and household advice manuals to examine Victorian culture is quite effective...Certainly, this will illustrate the challenges faced by Victorian housewives better than any nineteenth-century novel ever could." - Food & Foodways "[T]his is a well-written and well-researched examination of the role of food and food preparation in England at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. Broomfield has drawn on a wealth of primary and secondary resources, including manuscripts, and period cookbooks, to provide an in-depth, fascinating, and personal look into the Victorian kitchen...Highly recommended for all academic and large public libraries." - Library Journal "In a series devoted to countering stereotypes of the Victorian era in England, this volume begins by explaining how recipes in early cookbooks reflected their writers' socioeconomic status and products of the Industrial Revolution (e.g., gas ranges). Broomfield , the author of Daily Life in Victorian England (1996), traces the evolution of breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, and the snob appeal of foods with French names. The book includes a chronology of English Victorian culinary history, period illustrations, sample recipes, and a glossary of cooking terms." - Reference & Research Book News "In this fascinating look at Victorian foodways, Broomfield examines the industrialization of food and its consequent influence on culinary values, habits, and techniques, as well as its social impact on upper, middle, and lower classes of 19th-century Britain. Topics include English breakfasts, Victorian midday meals, various types of afternoon and evening meals known as teas, and dinner parties. Particularly symbolic is the transition from dinner a la francaise to dinner a la russe, signaling change from slow, informal, and convivial dining of the 18th-century English gentry to stiff, formal, and prescriptive dining of 19th-century Victorian entrepreneurs. Expertly researched and rich in detail, this book provides a comprehensive historical overview of the early stages of the industrialization of food. Especially valuable for readers interested in current controversies in food culture. Recommended. All levels." - Choice "[P]rovides an admirably detailed, complex, and accessible introduction to Victorian food practices...The book's scope is far-reaching, ranging from revelatory discussions of cooking technologies to the Victorian creation of lunch. Of course, tea figures prominently in Broomfield's account; she offers an invaluable guide to the assorted meals denominated by the term tea...Food and Cooking in Victorian England also contains two interesting chapters on the elite eating and the equipment and expertise that made it possible...Broomfield intersperses Victorian recipes throughout the book." - Gastronomica "College-level culinary libraries strong in Victorian history will appreciate Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History, with its survey of Victorian times introduced by nine recipes detailing examples of food production, cooking and diet in early England. Discussions go far beyond the usual cookbook to include surveys of kitchen arrangement and duties, dining habits, social influences on food and wine choices, and much more. An excellent survey any college-level culinary collection specializing in food history will relish." - Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch "A useful reference that both inspires and informs readers' imagination and understanding of Victorian foodways, Broomfield's text marshals an impressive command of statistics, dates, and archival research, offering readers a clear picture of Victorian life through the food grown, imported, produced, and consumed by Victorian families. Perhaps best described as a cultural history of food, Broomfield's highly accessible work has a wide and general scope...Broomfield's skill is exhibited in the careful distinctions she makes in her terms...The resulting work is carefully researched and nuanced, providing the scholar, the student, and the period enthusiast with a handy reference and a useful meditation on the growth of industrialization, nationalism, and the preservation of regional identity...[A]n essential volume for understanding the way this culture conceptualized and consumed food." - Journal of British Studies

About the Author

Andrea Broomfield is Associate Professor of English at Johnson County Community College in Kansas. She is co-editor of Prose by Victorian Women: An Anthology and has published several book chapters and journal articles.

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Like a good pasta dinner--satisfying & filling! 30 April 2008
By YankeeChick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I do NOT work for any book company that's trying to pump sales of a book & I found this book to be very interesting & informative. The small print & close lines might make some put it back on the shelf, but it's so interesting to see how the socioeconomic forces in Victorian England influenced the foods that were consumed, which eventually led to some of the traditional foods we eat. It is slow reading--you won't whip throught this in an evening, but it's funny how people are so nostalgic about the homey environments that seem to typify the fond attachments to anything Victorian, but nobody thinks about all the grunt work involved in producing the big, elaborate meals or how much effort was involved in the cleanup. This book isn't for everyone, but if you want to educate yourself as well as learn why we eat some of the foods we eat today, you'll probably enjoy it.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An excellent survey any college-level culinary collection specializing in food history will relish. 5 Mar. 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
College-level culinary libraries strong in Victorian history will appreciate Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History, with its survey of Victorian times introduced by nine recipes detailing examples of food production, cooking and diet in early England. Discussions go far beyond the usual cookbook to include surveys of kitchen arrangement and duties, dining habits, social influences on food and wine choices, and much more. An excellent survey any college-level culinary collection specializing in food history will relish.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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