25 July 2014

Friday's Literary Feast

Quotes from The Virago Book of Food:  The Joy of Eating

1779 - 1863

Fanny Trollope was the mother of the novelist Anthony Trollope.  Her candid observations about American life and society, published as Domestic Manners of the Americans, launched her career as a writer in England.

Where the mansion is of sufficient dignity to have two drawing-rooms, the piano, the little ladies, and the slender gentlemen are left to themselves, and on such occasions the sound of laughter is often heard to issue from among them.  But the fate of the more dignified personages, who are left in the other room, is extremely dismal.  The gentlemen spit, talk of elections and the price of produce, and spit again.  The ladies look at each other's dresses till they know every pin by heart; talk of Parson Somebody's last sermon on the day of judgment, on Dr. Totherbody's new pills for dyspepsia, till the 'tea' is announced, when they all console themselves together for whatever they may have suffered in keeping awake, by taking more tea, coffee, hot cake and custard, hoe cake, johny cake, waffle cake, and dodger cake, pickled peaches, and preserved cucumbers, ham, turkey, hung beef, apple sauce, and pickled oysters than ever were prepared in any other country of the known world.  After this massive meal is over they return to the drawing-room, and it always appeared to me that they remained together as long as they could bear it, and then they rise en masse, cloak, bonnet, shawl, and exit.

Domestic Manners of the American

Victorian Interior (with an old couple and young couple in conversation)  Artist unknown

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