A history of English food

A history of English foodClarissa Dickson Wright's major new history of English food takes the reader on a journey from the second crusade through the feasts of medieval kings to the cuisine – both good and bad – of the present day. She explores the types of food that people have eaten over the ages, looking at the shifting influences on English food as the British Empire waxed and waned and new immigrant communities made their contribution to the life of the country.

In her unparalleled style, Clarissa tells the stories of those who have shaped public taste – the chefs, cookery book writers, gourmets and gluttons whose lives centred on the dining table. Above all, she gives a vivid sense of what it was like to sit down to the meals of previous ages, whether an eighteenth century labourer's breakfast, a twelve-course Victorian banquet or a frugal lunch during the Second World War.

Fully illustrated throughout, and shot through with Clarissa's characteristic wit and her eye for detail, A History of English Food is a magnificently entertaining and hugely ambitious book about a perennially fascinating subject.

Clarissa Dickson Wright found fame alongside Jennifer Paterson as one half of the much-loved TV cooking partnership, Two Fat Ladies. Her autobiography, Spilling the Beans, was a Sunday Times number one bestseller and she is also the author of several books, including Clarissa and the Countryman, Clarissa and the Countryman Sally Forth, and The Game Cookbook. She has made several programmes for television about food history, including Clarissa and the King's Cookbook (which looks at recipes from the reign of Richard II) and a documentary on the eighteenth-century food writer Hannah Glasse.

Published 13 October 2011by Random House Books in Hardback £25