The prolific Irish author and playwright George Bernard Shaw lived from 1856 to 1950, and was vegetarian for the last seventy years of his life, living in England.
The recipes in this book are those devised for Shaw by his cook and housekeeper of the last seven years of his life, Mrs. Alice Laden, who worked for him during and after World War II. I was interested to see what sorts of vegetarian dishes were available and eaten at that time, and also to see if I could find some different dishes for use in my own kitchen.
I was not disappointed. Many of the dishes are delicious, and not something one finds in today's vegetarian cookbooks. Shaw ate for main courses potato nut patties, lentil rice roast, or pinto and cornbread pie. I had feared seeing nothing but variations on macaroni and cheese, but here are found lima bean shepherd's pie, cabbage au gratin, and almond-stuffed onions, main courses all. There are also numerous tasty sauces, side dishes, souffles, and desserts.
A caveat or two: If you are a visually oriented cook who likes to see photos of the finished product or steps in the making of a dish, you will not find that here. There are no pictures of the food. There are charming line drawings of a Shaw-looking character in various stages of dining. Another thing to note is that there seems herein a great deal of use of butter and white flour by today's health-conscious standards. I expect, however, that substitutions to olive oil and whole grain flours may be tried successfully if desired.
All in all, an interesting historical artifact in which delightful uncommon and useful recipes can be found.