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This important book is a ground breaking work on the subject of British food. It had been thought that civilisation in Britain, which stems from farming, food and cookery all began with the Romans. But it has now been discovered that thriving communities possessing a long history with their own ritual, laws, culture and food, inhabited Britain long before that time.
Food is the fundamental spur to action, innovation, exploration and creativity in humankind. This book explores the roots of our national existence through the cultivation of its land, the production and cooking of its food, revealing the moulding force of climate and the constant invention in technology that produced the food through the centuries. It will end in the present but will also consider the ominous, immediate future with the combined threat of global warming and Peak Oil.
It is a breath-taking attempt to trace the changes to and influences on food in Britain from the earliest dawning of time when England became an island, through the Roman occupation, the Plague years, the Industrial Revolution, the rise of Capitalism to the present day.
There has been a recent wave of interest in food culture and history and Colin Spencer’s masterful, readable account of our culinary history is a celebrated contribution to the genre. There has never been such an exciting, broad-scoped history of the food of these islands. It should remind us all of our rich past and the gastronomic importance of British cuisine.
Colin Spencer is one of the country’s leading food historians but his prolific output has not been limited to this field alone. He has written nine novels, a dozen cookery books, as well as writing for television and film. For thirteen years he was food columnist for The Guardian. His previous book for Grub Street was the award-winning, British Food An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History. Colin Spencer lives in Seaford, East Sussex.
'A history of Britain told through the prism of the nation's food, Spencer's conversational narrative is fascinating.' Peter Burton, Daily Express
'This is a thought-provoking, polemical account of how British tastes have evolved since ancient times.' The Sunday Times
'A compelling new work of food history.' Bee Wilson, Stella Magazine
'A thoughtful book and a good one.' The Scotsman
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