The Language of Food by Annabel Abbs


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ISBN: 9781398502222 Category: Tag:


Eliza Acton is a poet who’s never boiled an egg.
But she’s about to break the mould of traditional cookbooks
And change the course of cookery writing forever.

England 1835. Eliza Acton is a poet who dreams of seeing her words in print. But when she takes a new manuscript to a publisher, she’s told that ‘poetry is not the business of a lady.’ Instead, she’s asked to write a cookery book.
Eliza is horrified but her financial situation leaves her no choice. Although she’s never cooked before, she is determined to learn and to discover, if she can, the poetry in recipe writing. To assist her, she hires seventeen-year-old Ann Kirby, the daughter of local paupers. Over the next ten years, Eliza and Ann change the course of cookery writing forever.
Told in alternate voices by the award-winning author of The Joyce Girl, The Language of Food is the most thought-provoking and compelling historical novel you’ll read this year. Annabel Abbs explores the enduring struggle for female freedom, the complexities of friendship, the creativity and quiet joy of cooking and the poetry of food, while bringing Eliza Acton out of the archives and back into the public eye.

‘Thoughtful, heart-warming and poignant, with a quiet intelligence and elegance that does its heroine proud. And best of all, of course, is the way it engages with food and recipes – it’s mouth-watering and sensuous, a real feast for the imagination.’ Bridget Collins, author of The Binding

‘A sumptuous banquet of a book that nourished me and satisfied me just as Eliza Acton’s meals would have… I adored it.’ Polly Crosby, author of The Illustrated Child