Prof. Andrew Monnickendam Talk
IMG_Xerrada_Andrew_Monnickendam_FAG 16.01.2020  -  Hannah Glasse and the West Indian Turtle: "Cut its throat or the head off, and let it bleed well."

Prof Andrew Monnickendam (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). Friday, February 7, 2020. Room 216, 11:30am
 


In the fifth edition of Hannah Glasse’s best-selling recipe book, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy (1755), the author decides to include some additional items, among which the most extraordinary is how ‘To dress a turtle in the West Indian Way.’ First, the recipe comprises seven paragraphs whereas the most other recipes in this and contemporary books rarely exceed one sentence. Second, addressing her book to housewives and servants who require basic instruction, starting from how to light a fire, the instructions on how to kill and prepare a turtle of sixty pounds in weight fly in the face of the book’s title and intention, to make preparation “plain and easy.”
 
This lecture therefore has two aims. First, to illustrate how textual analysis of one popular sub-genre reaches out to explore multiple issues such as domestic economics, professionalism and gender, social mobility, and so on. Second, to illuminate, in an amusing and instructive manner, how original research in the humanities can successfully be undertaken, pointing out both the pitfalls we should avoid and the difficult notion of drawing up conclusions.
 
No prior knowledge of recipes is required.
 
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