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Good Things in England

by Florence White
Persephone book no:

9 10 11

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A Well Full of Leaves
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ISBN 9781903155004

'Ever wondered how to cook Thomas Hardy's frumenty, make Izaak Walton's Minnow Tansies or pickle elder buds?' asked the Sunday Telegraph. 'Good Things in England is a collection of 853 regional recipes dating back to the C14th. First published in 1932, it was written by Florence White, the country's first ever freelance food journalist, and, like all classic culinary works, it is a pleasure to read.'

'A marvellous compendium of recipes' declared Matthew Fort in the Guardian; 'one of the most influential cookery books of the C20th' said the Church Times; and in Saga magazine Derek Cooper wrote about 'a remarkable woman called Florence White... who believed that "we had the finest cookery in the world but it has been nearly lost by neglect.'''

'The book is a classic,' said Elizabeth David, 'in that the author's collection of English recipes is unique and their authenticity unquestioned. The book is also a lovely one to read, full of fresh ideas and appetising descriptions of English specialities.'


The endpaper, a 1932 Duncan Grant fabric which Leonard and Virginia Woolf had as curtains and on a sofa, is called 'Grapes'.

Picture Caption

Still Life with Eggs, Tomatoes and Mushrooms by Frances Hodgkins, c. 1932 © Tate Britain

Read What Readers Say

Sue Quinn via Instagram

I’m slightly obsessed with this book and Florence is a hero. A wonderful compendium of regional English dishes that she painstakingly collected. Even some of the very old recipes seem wonderfully current… An absolute delight that I find something new in every time I pick it up.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

‘Good Things in England’ is one of the great English cookbooks and, eighty years on, still remarkably accessible. It’s full of delightful, delicious recipes that actually work.

Melody Menu via Instagram

‘Good Things in England' is a veritable encyclopaedia of all things English cooking and eating, at once a collection of recipes and an instructional text on almost every method of cooking of any sauce, herb, vegetable or animal imaginable at the time. The recipes are fascinating in their composition, educational in their context, and paint a picture of exceedingly economical and sustainable cookery. They are from a whole host of experts and laypeople passing on much-loved family traditions; waste next to nothing; take into account good nutrition; are infused with all manner of aromatic herbs; and essentially bear all the hallmarks of modern cuisine as we know it today. This is as much a cookbook as it is an intriguing snapshot of an earlier era.

Categories: Cookery Books

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