History of Food in Literature: From the Fourteenth Century to the Present

by Charlotte Boyce and Joan Fitzpatrick

From the publisher: When novels, plays and poems refer to food, they are often doing much more than we might think. Recent critical thinking suggests that depictions of food in literary works can help to explain the complex relationship between the body, subjectivity and social structures. A History of Food in Literature provides a clear and comprehensive overview of significant episodes of food and its consumption in major canonical literary works from the medieval period to the twenty-first century. This volume contextualises these works with reference to pertinent historical and cultural materials such as cookery books, diaries and guides to good health, in order to engage with the critical debate on food and literature and how ideas of food have developed over the centuries.

Organised chronologically and examining certain key writers from every period, including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen and Dickens, this book’s enlightening critical analysis makes it relevant for anyone interested in the study of food and literature.

Charlotte Boyce is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Joan Fitzpatrick is Senior Lecturer in English at Loughborough University, UK.

Routledge, 2017