Win a copy of Food In England by Dorothy Hartley

Win a copy of Food In England by Dorothy Hartley

Posted by in Book News, Competition News, Competitions, Non-Fiction


At 9 p.m. tomorrow night, BBC4 will air '‘Food in England’, The Lost World of Dorothy Hartley'  – a brand new programme in which Dr Lucy Worsley retraces the life of Dorothy Hartley and her seminal book Food in England.

Lucy Worsley has spent the last twelve months filming the places Dorothy lived and the people she knew alongside David Parker and the production team at Available Light. Here is what she had to say about the programme in her blog:

Published in 1954, the 600-page Food in England took Dorothy Hartley 30 years to write. I’ve had a copy on my bookcase at Hampton Court for years, because it’s a treasure trove of odd facts and recipes.

It’s a curious mixture of cookery, history, anthropology, folklore and even magic, illustrated with Dorothy’s own strong, detailed and lively illustrations.  It ranges from Saxon cooking to the Industrial Revolution, with chapters on everything from seaweed to salt.

And it certainly isn’t a conventional history book. I must admit that I’d previously had some reservations about it because it doesn’t have proper references to source material, or footnotes.  Infuriatingly, Dorothy breaks the first rule of the historian: to cite evidence.

Despite this, I’d always been a big fan of Food in England for its readability and exuberance.  Until a year ago, though, I didn’t know much about the woman who wrote it.

Over the last twelve months, David Parker and his TV company Available Light and I have been filming the places Dorothy lived and the people she knew, for BBC4.  We went up and down to the country, visiting the various houses she called home, following her through the seasons of the year and along the journey of her life, and recreating some her weird recipes, from brawn to quince jelly to the ‘medieval pressure cooker’, a barge-man’s dinner cooked in a bucket.

To celebrate, we're giving away three copies of Food In England. All you need to do is answer the following question in the comments box below to be in with a chance of winning. The competition will close on Friday 9th November. You can read the full terms and conditions here.

Question: When was Food In England first published?

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