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The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art

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Throwing aside the stifling patriarchy of late Victorian Britain, the Bloomsbury Group fostered a fresh, creative, and vital way of living that encouraged debate and communications, as often as not across the dining table. In The Bloomsbury Cookbook, Jans Ondaatje Rolls collects more than 180 recipes for dishes that take us into the very heart of their world through the me Throwing aside the stifling patriarchy of late Victorian Britain, the Bloomsbury Group fostered a fresh, creative, and vital way of living that encouraged debate and communications, as often as not across the dining table. In The Bloomsbury Cookbook, Jans Ondaatje Rolls collects more than 180 recipes for dishes that take us into the very heart of their world through the meals around which they congregated, argued, debated, laughed, and loved. Gathered at these tables were many of the great figures in art, literature, and economics as the modern world was created and tirelessly interpreted: E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, J.M. Keynes, Lytton Strachey, and Virginia Woolf, among many others. Arranged chronologically from the late 19th century through the ascendency of the group between the wars, all the way to their present-day legacy, the book gathers together hundreds of photographs, letters, journals, paintings, and delicious recipes—some handwritten and never-before-published—that bring to life the group’s lingering breakfasts and “painting lunches.” Part cookbook, part social and cultural history, The Bloomsbury Cookbook will delight the modern chef searching for a certain distinctiveness, but also recreates an intimate portrait of a vastly influential intellectual and artistic community.


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Throwing aside the stifling patriarchy of late Victorian Britain, the Bloomsbury Group fostered a fresh, creative, and vital way of living that encouraged debate and communications, as often as not across the dining table. In The Bloomsbury Cookbook, Jans Ondaatje Rolls collects more than 180 recipes for dishes that take us into the very heart of their world through the me Throwing aside the stifling patriarchy of late Victorian Britain, the Bloomsbury Group fostered a fresh, creative, and vital way of living that encouraged debate and communications, as often as not across the dining table. In The Bloomsbury Cookbook, Jans Ondaatje Rolls collects more than 180 recipes for dishes that take us into the very heart of their world through the meals around which they congregated, argued, debated, laughed, and loved. Gathered at these tables were many of the great figures in art, literature, and economics as the modern world was created and tirelessly interpreted: E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, J.M. Keynes, Lytton Strachey, and Virginia Woolf, among many others. Arranged chronologically from the late 19th century through the ascendency of the group between the wars, all the way to their present-day legacy, the book gathers together hundreds of photographs, letters, journals, paintings, and delicious recipes—some handwritten and never-before-published—that bring to life the group’s lingering breakfasts and “painting lunches.” Part cookbook, part social and cultural history, The Bloomsbury Cookbook will delight the modern chef searching for a certain distinctiveness, but also recreates an intimate portrait of a vastly influential intellectual and artistic community.

30 review for The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art

  1. 4 out of 5

    Magrat

    OK, most of the Bloomsbury Group couldn't boil an egg. They had servants to do the cooking, but they were foodies who took great interest in what they ate. They provided their cooks with up-to-date equipment and cookbooks, collected recipes, took an interest in ingredients (Lytton Strachey enjoyed growing vegetables and keeping chooks) and conducted their intellectual lives at table. This fascinating book is copiously illustrated and a beautiful thing in itself - if there is a Kindle edition, don OK, most of the Bloomsbury Group couldn't boil an egg. They had servants to do the cooking, but they were foodies who took great interest in what they ate. They provided their cooks with up-to-date equipment and cookbooks, collected recipes, took an interest in ingredients (Lytton Strachey enjoyed growing vegetables and keeping chooks) and conducted their intellectual lives at table. This fascinating book is copiously illustrated and a beautiful thing in itself - if there is a Kindle edition, don't be tempted. And there are nearly 300 recipes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rob Tapper

    Excellent reading; feel really a part of the whole "Bloomsbury" thing now; the players and foibles, their talents and their (selfish) egos, and the geopolitical upheavals of their times. The "recipe"aspect of the writing is pure genius; keeps feet on the ground and adds that cultural dimension which links my past to theirs. This book is a brilliant compendium of fact from this critical blossoming of the freedoms won of those times. The members of that "Bloomsbury" set famously now etched in hist Excellent reading; feel really a part of the whole "Bloomsbury" thing now; the players and foibles, their talents and their (selfish) egos, and the geopolitical upheavals of their times. The "recipe"aspect of the writing is pure genius; keeps feet on the ground and adds that cultural dimension which links my past to theirs. This book is a brilliant compendium of fact from this critical blossoming of the freedoms won of those times. The members of that "Bloomsbury" set famously now etched in history. This must be viewed against the predominant "conscientious objector" status of significant males of the group -- their competitors in history wiped out more likely on the battle front.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

    The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art...by Jan Ondaatje Rolls... I Won this book through GOODREADS. It was the end of the Victorian era. Young people wanted to discuss what they read and saw. Their style of painting was different; bold brush strokes, not much detail and very colorful. The life style was bohemian, open marriages and changing partners frequently. Most of these people were writers, and artists. This all took place in England in the town of Bloomsbury and Charlesto The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art...by Jan Ondaatje Rolls... I Won this book through GOODREADS. It was the end of the Victorian era. Young people wanted to discuss what they read and saw. Their style of painting was different; bold brush strokes, not much detail and very colorful. The life style was bohemian, open marriages and changing partners frequently. Most of these people were writers, and artists. This all took place in England in the town of Bloomsbury and Charleston. Such notables were T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Venessa Bell and Duncan Grant. A quote from Virginia Woolf. " One cannot think well, love well sleep well, if one has not dined well." There are a lot of recipes in this book, which were mostly used in the 1890's to 1940's. There were many prints and photos in the cookbook, which is always interesting. Jan Ondaatje Rolls, who complied this book did a great job. The paper is a heavy velum, plus a ribbon bookmarker.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    I collect cookery books so of course this has to be included. I am sure it will be criticized as its a dated recipe collection though fascinating as a domestic insight. The times were sparse and the members difficult so there are a few I will try just for fun The book itself as a Bloomsbury item is just delightful I love it The perfect gift for any Bloomsbury collectors.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Deana

    Superb!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Recipes are not all that interesting but of course it is from a different lifestyle

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Taylor

    Much more than a cookbook. A lot of interesting stories about the Bloomsbury Group

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mousy Brown

    This is a fantastic glimpse into the bohemian existence of the talented and dare I say it eccentric group that made Bloomsbury famous. It is full of information, gossip and recipes, amazing images and personal recollections from family members and friends. I'm not sure I fancy trying many of the recipes but I bought it more for the insight into this time and place anyway and so loved every moment it took to read it... This is a fantastic glimpse into the bohemian existence of the talented and dare I say it eccentric group that made Bloomsbury famous. It is full of information, gossip and recipes, amazing images and personal recollections from family members and friends. I'm not sure I fancy trying many of the recipes but I bought it more for the insight into this time and place anyway and so loved every moment it took to read it...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Love this book

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aleira Gana

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Huddlestone

  13. 5 out of 5

    Moizza

  14. 4 out of 5

    Phillippa De

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

  16. 4 out of 5

    fatma

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tamara Benson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Merry

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  24. 5 out of 5

    T i n a

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine Roth

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yasmien

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

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