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Kitchen Essays

by Agnes Jekyll
Persephone book no:

29 30 31


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A Well Full of Leaves
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264pp
ISBN 9781903155189

The author of Kitchen Essays (1922) was sister-in-law to the great Gertrude Jekyll, whose biographer wrote that if she 'was an artist-gardener, then Agnes was an artist-housekeeper.' Agnes was a famous hostess (the guests at her first dinner party included Browning, Ruskin and Burne-Jones) and her home, Munstead House, 'was the apogee of opulent comfort and order without grandeur, smelling of pot-pourri, furniture polish and wood smoke'.

During 1921-2 (the now) Lady Jekyll wrote unsigned essays for The Times with titles such as 'Tray Food' and 'Sunday Supper', all of which are contained in Kitchen Essays.

The Observer Food Magazine commended 'lovely Persephone Books' for reprinting Kitchen Essays; India Knight has called it 'beautifully written, sparkling, witty and knowing, an absolute delight to read'; while the BBC Food Magazine praised 'this exquisitely reprinted period piece'. 

Also available as a Persephone Classic.

Endpaper

The endpapers show a 1922 design by the painter George Sheringham called 'Clusters of stylised fruits, flowers and shell motifs', a domestic design with a hint both of the pastoral and the abstract.

Picture Caption

The Tea Table by Harold Harvey


Read What Readers Say

artfulreader via Instagram

A wonderful collection of short essays in cookery and recipes from the 1920s… I’m planning dinner for a few friends, and I want to try a few of the dishes from this (although not the Camembert in aspic: that’s a hard pass). What I also love about this are the essays themselves: Jekyll has this great no-nonsense voice that comes through and she is not afraid to share her opinions. Already in 1922 she complained that Christmas had become too commercial…

Categories: Cookery Books Humour

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