Product Description A sumptuously presented personal history of English food, from medieval times to the present day,Â by a beloved food writer of the Two Fat Ladies In aÂ major new history of English food, Clarissa Dickson Wright takes the reader on a journey from the time of the Second Crusade and the feasts of medieval kings to the cuisineâboth good and badâof the present day. She looks at the shifting influences on the national diet as new ideas and ingredients arrived, and as immigrant communities made their contribution to the life of the country. She evokes lost worlds of open fires and ice houses, of constant pickling and preserving, and of manchet loaves and curly-coated pigs.Â She alsoÂ tells the stories of the chefs, cookbook writers, gourmets, and gluttons who have shaped public taste, from the salad-loving Catherine of Aragon to the foodies of today. Above all, she gives a vivid sense of what it was like to sit down to the meals of previous ages, whether an 18th-century labourer's breakfast, a 12-course Victorian banquet, or a lunch out during World War II. Insightful and entertaining by turns, this is a magnificent tour of nearlyÂ 1,000 years of English cuisine, peppered with surprises and seasoned with Clarissa Dickson Wright's characteristic wit. Review "Magnificently eccentric and robustly informative . . . an impressive tour of the horizon of a well-stocked mind . . . engaging, funny and admirably entertaining."Â â Sunday Telegraph "A marvellous read . . . [Clarissa Dickson Wright's] skill is to make food, even 800 years ago, seem relevant and amusing today."Â â Country Life magazine "AÂ chatty and fascinating crawl from Medieval times when pigeons, eels and nettles were staples, to the pizzas, baked beans and chips of today . . . consistently entertaining and informative."Â â Daily Mail About the Author CLARISSA DICKSON WRIGHT found fame alongside Jennifer Paterson as one half of the much-loved TV cooking partnership Two Fat Ladies. Her autobiography, Spilling the Beans, was a Sunday Times number one bestseller and she is also the author of many other books, including Clarissa and the Countryman, Clarissa and the Countryman Sally Forth, The Game Cookbook and Potty! She has made several programmes for television about food history, including Clarissa and the King's Cookbook (which looks at recipes from the reign of Richard II), and a documentary on the eighteenth-century food writer Hannah Glasse.