60 Followers
29 Following
wealhtheow

wealhtheow

Currently reading

The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
Food in Anglo-Saxon England - Debby Banham Fantastic book on the food and drink before the Conquest. Dense with details and lots of really original research. Piecing together what Anglo-Saxons ate is incredibly difficult. Dr.Banham puzzles out some good theories based on "feorm", or food rents (from the Domesday Book, Rectitudines singularum personaum, and Be gesceadwisan gerefan), from Aelfric's Colloquy, which was written ~1000AD to teach monastic pupils Latin, from the Monasteriales indica (the Old English sign language monks used when they had to keep silence), and the funeral feasts at Bury St. Edmunds. Medical texts that include recipes for food for invalid give a few more clues. Archeological evidence is priceless, as is linguistic evidence (like the Old English word for garden, lectun, which translates as "leek enclosure") and the occasional glimpses of food in illustrations, sculptures and paintings from the period.

This is a great resource. It's written clearly, in a style non-academics can easily understand, and there's a whole section of color photographs that show what 9th-11th century produce and livestock probably looked like, plus recreations of ovens, gardens, and a photo of one of the carbonised loaves of bread from the eleventh-century. I recommend this to anyone who loves Old English or history, or is just curious as to how we think about and prepare food has transformed over time.