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Home » Books » History » Modern » 19th Century

The Greedy Queen

Eating with Victoria

By Annie Gray

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Format: Hardback, 400 pages, Main Edition
Other Information: 16pp plate section
Published In: United Kingdom, 11 May 2017
In the 19th century, a revolution took place in how we ate - from the highest table in the land to the most humble. Annie Gray's book is both a biography of Britain's most iconic monarch, and a look at the changing nature of cooking and eating in the Victorian era. From her early years living on milk and bread under the Kensington system, to her constant indigestion and belligerent over-eating as an elderly woman, her diet will be examined, likes and dislikes charted, and the opinions of those around her considered. More than that, though, this book will take a proper look below stairs. Victoria was surrounded by servants, from ladies-in-waiting, to secretaries, dressers and coachmen. But there was another category of servant, more fundamental, and yet at the same time more completely hidden: her cooks.From her greed to her selfishness at the table, her indigestion and her absolute reliance on food as a lifelong companion, with her when so many others either died or were forced away by political factors, Victoria had a huge impact on the way we all eat today. Annie Gray gives us a new perspective on Britain's longest reigning monarch, viewing her through the one thing more dear to her than almost anything else: her stomach.

Promotional Information

Full of original research, Annie Gray's first book considers Britain's most iconic monarch from a new perspective, telling the history of British dining culture along the way.

About the Author

Annie Gray is an historian, cook, broadcaster and writer specialising in the history of food and dining in Britain from around 1600 to the present day, conducting her research both in libraries and in kitchens. She has worked at Audley End amongst other historical kitchens, and gives lectures all over the country. She lives in East Anglia.

Reviews

Had me at the first sentence -- Nigel Slater Zingy, fresh, and unexpected: Annie Gray, the queen of food historians, finds her perfect subject. A book to devour -- Lucy Worsley Annie Gray is a brilliant writer and scholar who brings a glorious combination of enthusiasm and greed to every subject she tackles. In the field of food history she leads the pack. -- Jay Rayner In this wonderfully researched and entertaining book, Gray uncovers a slice of royal history which until now has been completely ignored. -- Jane Ridley * Spectator * [A] delicious portrait -- Daisy Goodwin * Mail on Sunday * 'The best - and most popular - rooms in any National Trust property are always the kitchens. It is there, rather than the grand staterooms, that we are able to visualise what life was really like in the past. In The Greedy Queen Annie Gray replicates those kitchens in book form, conjuring up for her readers both the elaborate banquets and the quiet family dinners of Queen Victoria and her household. Never has history seemed quite as delicious as in these pages.' -- Judith Flanders I'm avid to tuck in. -- Rachel Cooke * Guardian 2017 non-fiction picks * One of the most fascinating royal biographies I have read ... Culinary biography is a relatively undersubscribed genre, but this biographer and subject show off its great potential ... Gray writes with great authority, verve and confidence -- Paula Byrne * Times * Gray does an excellent job ... This is fascinating material, extracted from the archives by some fine forensic reading. -- Kathryn Hughes * TLS * If we are what we eat, then what was Victoria? This brilliant first book by Annie Gray wastes no time in telling us ... Gray's oeuvre is deeply satisfying ... her tone is lively, her pace jaunty. -- Cate Devine * Herald * Bursting with original research, The Greedy Queen looks at the monarch from a new perspective, telling the story of British food along the way. * Majesty Magazine * Written with great affection, it reveals a queen full of paradoxes, cosseted from real life but with a hearty appetite and startling joie de vivre alongside bouts of grief-stricken melancholy. A real feast. -- Patricia Carswell * WI Life * I love a good historical non-fiction read and the topic of food lends itself so well to this genre. In this beautifully researched book, Annie Gray explains how food culture changed during Victoria's long reign, the difference in diet between the queen and her poorest subjects and even what she ate to cure her of constipation (rhubarb, if you must know.) A fascinating read. -- Sarra Manning * Red *

EAN: 9781781256824
ISBN: 1781256829
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.4 x 3.6 centimetres (0.47 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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