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Feast By Roy Strong

by Roy Strong

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This volume gathers together all the ingredients which contributed to the phenomenon of the celebratory meal - the people, the clothes, the food, the setting, the action and its circumstances - from Roman villa and monastic refectory to Renaissance banquet and the Victorian dinner party.
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Feast Summary

Feast by Roy Strong

Toenails cut while dining, meals served to wax effigies of the dead, napkins concealing singing birds, dishes descending from the ceiling- these are just a few of the more exotic aspects of everyman at table. From the stupendous banquets of the Ancient Babylonians, Feast covers five millennia of formal eating. Sharing a meal, in particular a grand one, has always been a complex social mechanism for uniting and dividing people. Such an event could signal peace, a marriage, a victory, an alliance, a coming- of- age, a coronation or a funeral. The feast was a vehicle for display and ostentation, for the parade of rank and hierarchy, for flattering and influencing people as well as providing a theatre in which to exercise the art of conversation and the display of manners. FEAST offers a fascinating and, at times, a highly unusual mirror of society. It gathers together for the first time all the ingredients which contributed to the phenomenon of the celebratory meal- the people, the clothes, the food, the setting, the action and its circumstances. In an age which has virtually abolished the shared meal as a central feature of daily living, FEAST presents a revelatory picture of a world we have lost. Beautifully illustrated, it traces fashions in food and the etiquette of eating, taking the reader from the elegancies of the Roman villa to the austerities of the monastic refectory, from the splendours of the Renaissance banquet to the rigours of the Victorian dinner party.

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About Roy Strong

Sir Roy Strong was Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1967 to 1973 and Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum from 1974 to 1987 when he resigned to become a full-time writer, broadcaster and consultant. His previous books include The Story of Britain, The Cult of Elizabeth and The Spirit of Britain. "From the Hardcover edition."

Table of Contents

Convivium - when in Rome: the Greek inheritance; the age of Apicus; "cena" and "convivium"; public and imperial banquets; disintegration and survival. Interlude - fast and feast: cuisine - the silent centuries; the Christian table and the birth of manners; feast as power; a reconciliation of opposites. In the eye of the beholder: cooks, cookery books and cuisine; the triumph of conspicuous consumption; manners maketh man; enter the "entremets". Renaissance ritual: the refinement of cuisine; Pliny relived and the reinvention of the dining-room; "convivium" revived; the Renaissance banquet; feast into fantasy; the collation and banquet; meals and the mystery of monarchy. From court to cabinet: the triumph of illusion; a culinary revolution; "service a la francaise" and tablescapes; the "salle a manger" and eating rooms; manners into etiquette; "messieurs, au couvert du Roi!"; food and festival at Versailles; the quest for informality. Dinner is served: from revolution to the return of ritual; the century of Careme; the proliferation of the dining-room and shifting mealtimes; the dinner party; "service a la francaise" to "service a la russe"; the ritual and etiquette of dinner; the way we live now. The eclipse of the table?.

Additional information

Feast by Roy Strong
Roy Strong
Used - Very Good
Vintage Publishing
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.