Maggie Black was a food historian and author of numerous books including The Medieval Cookbook.
Deirdre Le Faye is an Austenian scholar, author of Jane Austen: A Family Record and an edited collection of Jane Austen's letters.
When a food historian and an Austenian scholar collaborate, you get a cookbook that is both intelligent and charming. Georgian and Regency recipes out of context would be cute but not necessarily a chef's first choice. Set against a backdrop of the era's social and domestic history, however, the cuisine finds its place. Black-and-white photos and drawings extend the descriptions. The first half is full of facts about and analyses of Austen's friends, novels, and letters; the second half has the recipes, most of which have been adapted to the modern kitchen, e.g., macaroni, jugged steaks with potatoes. It was more difficult to adapt the pigeon pie! Black and Le Faye's work offers interesting tidbits about 19th-century English social life and customs, and if anyone wants to know what "salmagundy" is, the answer lies here. Recommended for food history collections.‘Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., Ky.
"The Jane Austen Cookbook has to be the best present,
although this riveting book is far more than just that."