COVID-19 Response at

Read what we're doing...

The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down


Product Description
Product Details

About the Author

Jesse Browner was born and lives in New York City. He is the author of two novels, Conglomeros and Turnaway, and has translated works by Cocteau, Rilke, Eluard, and others.


Like an artfully served canap?, Browner's brief exploration of hospitality may seem light, but has a rich, lingering flavor. He works backward through time, beginning with Adolf Hitler's quirky type of hospitality at his retreat, at which every guest room had a copy of Mein Kampf and French pornography books on the bedside table. From there, novelist Browner (Conglomeros; Turnaway) wanders into the realm of Gertrude Stein, John James Audubon and Louis XIV, whose court witnessed the humiliation of a duchess who wouldn't sit because she was offered a stool instead of a chair. The book also explores Rome's Julio-Claudian dynasty and the rough days of Agamemnon's army. Browner plumbs these historical periods for hospitality anecdotes and finds some pearls, proving the host-and-guest relationship has never been particularly carefree. While directing the conversation, Browner proves an excellent host himself, throwing out delicious bons mots and peppering the work with personal details. Excursions into his daughter's teddy bear teas and his own propensity for weakening his poker buddies' resolve with homemade sandwiches give the book a sense of coherence and smooth charm. By the time he devotes an entire chapter to his family's Thanksgiving dinner, it's easy to see how his analysis of hospitality through the ages has shaped the event. He writes, "When I am a good host, I can order the world precisely as I believe it ought to be." It's no effort to delight in the fact that Browner is also a good storyteller, and the way he orders the world here is an invitation worth answering. (Oct. 1) Forecast: Browner's book has the quirky appeal to land it the book review sections of culinary and travel magazines, aided by blurbs from New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and Oxford Companion to Food author Alan Davidson. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Like an artfully served canap, Browner''s brief exploration of hospitality may seem light but has a rich, lingering flavor...An invitation worth answering."

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
Look for similar items by category
People also searched for
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down: An Informal History of Hospitality on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top