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Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book: Revived and Illustrated


by Dusha Bateson and Weslie Janeway

Charles Darwin's name is recognized around the globe and his discoveries have shaped our understanding of the natural world. While the scientist pursued research and theory, his wife Emma Wedgwood Darwin, like many women of her time, kept a notebook filled with recipes, culinary instructions and personal anecdotes about everyday life in the Darwin household. Authors Dusha Bateson and Weslie Janeway have recreated and tested every one of Mrs. Darwin's 55 recipes and put them in a new cookbook, Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book: Revived and Illustrated. This unique cookbook offers a rare glimpse behind the dining room doors of one of the Victorian era's most eminent families.

More than a cookbook, the Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book delineates a lifestyle at the top of English society and intelligentsia at the time. This treasure trove that includes unlikely dishes such as Turnips Cresselly and Penally Pudding contains, even, another cook evident in the work: The recipe for boiling rice is in Charles Darwin's own hand. The image of Darwin standing over a pot of boiling water with his pocket watch in hand, is one to savor, along with every other vestige of a lost kitchen and lifestyle come back to life here.

These wonderful recipes have been adapted for today's modern kitchen and are easy to prepare and create unique dinner menus for family get-togethers, holiday parties, or weeknight dinners.

From a historical perspective, the authors provide a unique look at Victorian life through their Introduction chapter, discussing details and practices of the Darwin household. And, the historian in anyone will be delighted to see many reprinted pages from Mrs. Darwin's actual diaries.

February 12, 2009, the bi-centennial anniversary of Darwin's birth, has been proclaimed Darwin Day, an international celebration of the discoveries and life of this extraordinary man. The celebration recognizes that science, like music and the arts, is a language that speaks to everyone. Mrs. Charles Darwin's Recipe Book offers the perfect opportunity to toast Darwin Day with authentic dishes from the Darwin household, and a window into the life and accomplishments of Emma Darwin, who gracefully supported her husband along his path of scientific inquiry. Cookery, history, Victoriana, and botany buffs alike will be sure to devour this rich culinary exploration.

About The Authors
Dusha Bateson studied history at England's Cambridge University. She may have inherited her interests in investigating archival materials and writing from her father, a BBC foreign correspondent to the Balkans and author of several books. Born and raised in the UK, Dusha has worked as a journalist and as a librarian. In 1988, her husband. Sir Patrick Bateson, became Provost of King's College where the Batesons entertained many guests, from Queen Elizabeth II to the Dalai Lama. The Batesons live in East Suffolk, England.

Weslie Janeway studied history and politics at Barnard College and Brown University. She has worked as a political analyst in banking, investment banking and continued to work in investment (at Sontag Advisory, a boutique investment firm) until 2006, when she and her semi-retired husband moved to Cambridge, England. She lives with her husband and son variously between Cambridge, England, New York City, and the coast of Maine.


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