The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Opened (The English Kitchen)


Digby, Sir Kenelm and Davidson, Peter and Stevenson, Jane (Editors)


A paperback edition of a classic of 17th-century English writing about food and drink. There is perhaps none more frequently quoted than this, no title more familiar. Its reappearance, therefore, will be very welcome to both the academic market, and the general reader. Digby was a European figure of some renown in scientific, philosophical and mathematical circles (besides being a military man, a pirate and a womaniser). This recipe collection made by him (in line with similar collections made by male enthusiasts and intellectuals of the time, for example the diarist John Evelyn) was published after his death by his former assistant George Hartman. It is perhaps the most literate of such cookery books. Digby was a natural writer, as entertaining as instructive. Many of the recipes are for drinks, particularly of meads or metheglins, but the culinary material provides a remarkable conspectus of accepted practice among court circles in Restoration England, with extra details supplied from Digby's European travels. The editors also include the inventory of Digby's own kitchen in his London house, discovered amongst papers now deposited in the British Library; and they have provided a few modern interpretations of Digby's recipes. The work was last printed in 1910, in a sound edition that is no longer easily available. This new version has several improvements. The editors discuss the role of George Hartman in the compilation of the book, and relate its contents to the work that went out in 1682 over Hartman's own name, The True Preserver and Restorer of Health. There is a full glossary and the reader will be helped by the extensive biographical notes about people named in the text as the source of recipes.

Further details:

  • Softcover:322 pages
  • Language: English
  • Illustrations: NA
  • EAN-13: 9781903018705
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm

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