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British cookery books and British identities, 1747-1861

Dow, EL; (2017) British cookery books and British identities, 1747-1861. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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This thesis uses printed and manuscript recipe collections from the mideighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century to explore how national identity became part of everyday life. It starts by looking at the progression of recipe writing and how the layout and format of recipes changed in line with wider developments around the production, codification and transmission of information. These processes of knowledge creation are used to highlight how culinary writing was a way women, in particular, could engage with a broader community that was increasingly being imagined in national terms. The second chapter looks at recipe change, in terms of flavour profile and ingredients, to understand the ways in which taste was evolving over the period. It then goes on to analyse how these changes in taste were related to an emerging sense of (largely European) national food cultures and of what constituted British food. Leading on from this, the third chapter looks at how ideas of gender and class were explored in cookery writing. Analysis of the changes to recipes themselves, and the wider discussion of them in printed books, is used to reveal how domesticity became the dominant gender ideology by the midnineteenth century and how it was closely bound up with ideas of class status, particularly the qualities and duties of the middle-class housewife. The re-configuring of gender and class over this period are shown to be crucial to how nationhood was being entrenched in cookery books, and thus the relationship between these books and the broader development of national identity is highlighted. Finally, the last chapter explores how an idea of Anglo-British food culture emerged, based on a multiplicity of perceived influences. I document authors’ and users’ development of a composite cuisine, incorporating recipes that were regional, European and imperial, and how they actively and consciously promoted this cuisine as a reflection of the nation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: British cookery books and British identities, 1747-1861
Event: UCL
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1535251
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