A long-lost medieval cookbook, containing recipes for hedgehogs, blackbirds and even unicorns, has been discovered at the British Library. Professor Brian Trump of the British Medieval Cookbook Project described the find as near-miraculous. “We’ve been hunting for this book for years. The moment I first set my eyes on it was spine-tingling.”
Detail of a unicorn on the grill in Geoffrey Fule’s cookbook, England, mid-14th century (London, British Library, MS Additional 142012, f. 137r).
Experts believe that the cookbook was compiled by Geoffrey Fule, who worked in the kitchens of Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England (1328-1369). Geoffrey had a reputation for blending unusual flavours – one scholar has called him “the Heston Blumenthal of his day” – and everything points to his hand being behind the compilation.
After recipes for herring, tripe and codswallop (fish stew, a popular dish in the Middle Ages) comes that beginning “Taketh one unicorne”. The recipe calls for the beast to be marinaded in cloves and garlic, and then roasted on a griddle. The cookbook’s compiler, doubtless Geoffrey Fule himself, added pictures in its margins, depicting the unicorn being prepared and then served. Sarah J Biggs, a British Library expert on medieval decoration, commented that “the images are extraordinary, almost exactly as we’d expect them to be, if not better”.
A lady bringing the unicorn’s head to the table (London, British Library, MS Additional 142012, f. 137v).
The recipe for cooking blackbirds is believed to be the origin of the traditional English nursery rhyme “Sing a song of sixpence / A pocket full of rye / Four-and-twenty blackbirds / Baked in a pie.” Professor Trump added that he was tempted to try some of the recipes, but suspected that sourcing ingredients would be challenging. “Unfortunately, they don’t stock unicorn in my local branch of Tesco.”
The remains of the unicorn (London, British Library, MS Additional 142012, f. 138r).
-Sarah J Biggs (British Museum, London)
Inspiring Libraries In Unexpected Places
Libraries are awesome. The sharing of information and a free access to thought through books is invaluable to any place. Which is why libraries have popped up in some of the strangest places. From a forgotten cemetery to a burro’s back to a repurposed tank, these are three of the most unexpected libraries that are making real change in their communities.
I love the biblio-burro….!!
All these are amazing!
It’s a good opportunity to remember some that we’ve shared before.
(via this isn’t happiness)
What seems like a divine series of events has culminated in the publication of the Holocaust diary of a 14 year old girl.
Here’s what we know:
-When Rywka Lipszyc began her diary, she had lived in the Lodz ghetto for more than three years and had already lost both of her parents.
-her diary cover six months in the Lodz ghetto starting in 1943.
-Zinaida Berezovskaya, A Soviet Red Army doctor found the diary beside a crematorium at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945.
- Berezovskaya kept the diary hidden in a closet in her home in Omsk (in southwestern Siberia) until her death in 1983.
-Her son kept it another 12 years until his death in Moscow in 1995.
-His daughter “found the diary wrapped with an explanatory cover note and an accompanying Russian newspaper article, with a photo from February 1945 showing the exact spot where the diary was found,” and took it back to San Francisco where she had immigrated to.
-She then wrote to the S.F.-based Holocaust Center of Northern California
-then the pros went to work. The diary “was exhaustively researched, authenticated and annotated. It took a team of historians, archivists and translators years to finalize the newly published book.”
Read Around the World Project
I personally rarely read non-American, non-British writers, save for my Haruki Murakami books. Think about all the countries we know nothing about, how many times we say “Where is that?” If people right to tell their stories and the stories of others, then we are missing out on some many untold stories. There are so many untold stories and I think people should know about them.
I want to create a collection of writers from as many countries as possible. They can be well-known or underrated. They can be modern books or older, classic books.
In 2012, Ann Morgan took on a project to read a book from every country in the world. She realized how she was limiting herself as a reading by only reading mainly writers from American and the UK. 197 books later, Ann was introduced to writers and stories she would have thought existed.
How Does it Work?
I will create a page that lists each country. The link will take you a page with the books from that country. Each book tagged under that country will get their own post. It will contain a short synopsis of the book. I will also provide ways to get their books (usually retailers online).
You can submit books non-anon through my ask box (where it says “send it here”). When I make a post, I will also provide a link to your blog as a form of promotion.
Please spread the word by reblogging this post and future posts related to the project!
Raidersofthelostart aka Susan Hoerth - 1: The Land of Fairy Tales constructed from a book called Fairy Land dated 1923 2: Grimm’s Fairy Tales Altered Antique book Pop Up style 3: Repurposed Antique Altered Children’s Book Beauty And The Beast and Other Fairy Tales 4: Altered Art Book Autopsy- The Little Chief, 1879 5: Altered Book Autopsy Birds of A Feather Altered Books
all the awards.
Jungle Book by Yusuke Oono
ARE YOU READY FOR THIS BECAUSE I WASN’T