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The Jane Austen Cookbook Paperback – May 10, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (May 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771014171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771014178
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

When a food historian and an Austenian scholar collaborate, you get a cookbook that is both intelligent and charming. Georgian and Regency recipes out of context would be cute but not necessarily a chef's first choice. Set against a backdrop of the era's social and domestic history, however, the cuisine finds its place. Black-and-white photos and drawings extend the descriptions. The first half is full of facts about and analyses of Austen's friends, novels, and letters; the second half has the recipes, most of which have been adapted to the modern kitchen, e.g., macaroni, jugged steaks with potatoes. It was more difficult to adapt the pigeon pie! Black and Le Faye's work offers interesting tidbits about 19th-century English social life and customs, and if anyone wants to know what "salmagundy" is, the answer lies here. Recommended for food history collections.?Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., Ky.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

The Jane Austen Cookbook has to be the best present, although this riveting book is far more than just that.”
–Nigella Lawson

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Customer Reviews

This is a wonderful book to read with a bonus of the recipes.
Beadgirl
If you like cooking, experimenting in your kitchen, vintage recipes, or JA herself, you will truly appreciate this book!
Linore Burkard
Any fan of Jane Austen's novels would do well to read, or at least sample, this book.
Rose Oatley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 92 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on November 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely and shortish introduction to cooking and culture of eating and entertaining for the late Georgian period when Austen was alive. I loved the fact that this was about cooking and eating rather than some of the less universally approachable subjects (letters, literary criticism). Maggie Black and Deidre Le Faye have both written Jane Austen style and culture type books before so both understand the period and are able to draw on a large resource of appropriate information.

The introduction is very much about how people ate - what was available, how it got to houses, and why this was so. There is some division by class (upper class, middle class and lower class are all discussed) but also the divisions by Geography - whether coastal with access to fresh fish, or inland - how food was transported, and even in terms of access to market towns. Even 5 miles away was almost impossible for those trying to get up a dinner from 'scratch' so to speak if someone was coming around.

The introduction also talks about the types of food and dishes which were eaten, and that the whole culture of dining was completely different. Not only were meal times different, but how they dined. The explanations are simple and there is good use of quoted material throughout, the diaries and letters of the time providing a strong and occassionally humourous voice.

Where possible leFaye and Black have used diaries and 'receipts' from Austen's friends and family and point out that in the days before recipe books were published these books of receipts would be handed down from mother to daughter and one family's speciality would be renowned - they were truly heirlooms.

The last section of the book is a collection of recipes - these are taken from books of reciepts.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While this cookbook may not be exactly suited to the demands of every day dinner making, it does serve as a great lesson in early 19th century custom and way of life. The recipes it contains are fun as well as elegant, and many of them are taken right from the pages of EMMA, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and the rest of the Austen classics. Most of the ingredients are simple and relatively easy to find, and you'll find that making Mrs. Norris' Strawberry Creme Pudding is worth every effort. So, put on some Madrigal music, don a linen frock and your best English country accent and fall into the real world of Austen-- as only food can create it!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Linore Burkard on October 14, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you call yourself a Janeite then you must have this book! It is a great recipe book from the period with many that can be easily reproduced in your own kitchen! (How better to experience the times than to try to recreate a touch of it?) The commentary is interesting and useful and each author, I find, sheds some light on the life and times of Jane in a way that no one else has quite managed, and Ms. Black is no exception. I am just beginning my culinary jaunts using recipes from this book, and I have already highlighted a great deal of "Must tries". If you like cooking, experimenting in your kitchen, vintage recipes, or JA herself, you will truly appreciate this book!
Linore Rose Burkard
Author, Before the Season Ends
(A Regency Romance)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A delightful `cookbook' with a beginning of history and interesting bits of Austen, family, friends, and her life of the times, not to mention books and their characters and names and places. The 42 BW illustrations are often old woodcuts, photos, drawings, and sometimes paintings. It all reflects the period of Austen, complete with the recipes, which is the primary focus of this book. But Jane Austen lovers will enjoy the 38 pages prior to the `receipts' equally. It is enough of a treasure; I'd recommend buying the HC version, as I did. It is worthy of placing on the buffet for display, or in the living room for a `tea' gathering.

Recipes are converted to modern needs, like oven temps and volume & weight measurements. But terms are intact making the reading fun. Curry Soup used a `Knuckle of Veal', parching before a fire, beating in a Mortar, passing through a Sawn Sieve, Chyan pepper, and even so, turns out a delightful man-pleasing soup. A book for cooks, Austen readers, & men wanting to surprise the lady with a gift, or the lady wanting to surprise her gentleman with a fine meal.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rose Oatley on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Any fan of Jane Austen's novels would do well to read, or at least sample, this book. Austen's work is the story of domestic life of her time, and this book provides a lot of useful information about an important context of her novels: food, meals, and dining. What is a nuncheon? How do cooks cope without refrigeration? And how, specifically, does one prepare many of the foods familiar to Austen's world? This book addresses these questions, in a well-written and well-researched style. It is physically attractive, and soundly based on contemporaneous records and recipes ('receipts') of the time, although these were recorded in ways foreign to us.
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