Food in England.London: Macdonald, 1954 Stock Code: 146496
First edition, first impression. Food in England, "a treasury of information on the gathering, storing, and cooking of food from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries" is widely regarded as the definitive history of English food and cooking techniques (ODNB).
Dorothy Hartley (1893-1985) travelled the country writing a weekly column on English country living for the Daily Sketch "for which she hunted out recipes, customs and folklore" (Worsley). Her writing demonstrates the close practical combination of these threads, for example "according to superstition, empty egg-shells should always be broken up - lest witches make boats thereof. After pulverising, the shells were put into the hen's food pail" (p. 212). A contemporary of folk historians Cecil Sharp and Florence White, Hartley was part of an active movement to record disappearing English customs, and the oral history she recorded provides the richest part of this work. Trained initially as an artist Hartley provided the "very exact, decorative yet diagrammatic explanatory drawings" for her histories which helped them to appeal to a wider public. Her other major historical publications were her six-volume Life and Work of the Peoples of England, written between 1925 and 1931, and her 1931 book Medieval Costume and Life.
Octavo, pp. 676. Original orange cloth, titles to spine in gilt. With the illustrated dust jacket by Hookway Cowles.
Numerous illustrations in the text by the author.
A fine, bright copy, contents entirely clean, in the unusually well-preserved dust jacket, not price-clipped, spine mildly sunned, tiny nick to foot of spine panel, uncommonly bright and sharp.
Worsley, Lucy, "My hero: Dorothy Hartley" in The Guardian, 2 November 2012.
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