This fascinating and broad-ranging book is full of surprises. I enjoyed it immensely. Though now quite old-fashioned in tone and layout, the wealth of information makes it still well worth reading.
Drummond was a biochemist, and played a crucial role in the Second World War. It is largely thanks to his work on the nutritional content of food that the nation came out of the war healthier than it went in. During the First World War,there had been widespread malnutrition, and in the inter-war years a huge amount of research was done on matters such as vitamins. Drummond's expertise really shows in the section on scurvy, which is absolutely rivetting stuff, revealing the impact of Vitamin C - and our ignorance about it - on history.
As you may have gathered, this isn't a historical cookbook. It is a survey of our diet from the late middle ages on, and is, in it's readble way, quite serious and academic. It is also easy to read, Drummond wearing his erudition nonchalantly. Incidentally, the better-known title FOOD IN HISTORY. by Reay Tannahill, takes a great deal of its substance from this book.