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The Bloomsbury Cookbook lovingly shares social and culinary history Big Time

Frances, the last member left
Frances, the last member left
Author's collection

Things have usually bloomed in the circle known as The Bloomsbury Group.
Throwing aside the stifling mores of late Victorian Britain, the Bloomsbury Group fostered a fresh, creative and vital way of living that encouraged debate and communication (“only connect”), as often as not across the dining table. Gathered at these tables were many of the most important figures in the art, literature, politics, and economics of the modern era: E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, John Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.
In The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art (Thames & Hudson, $39.95) Jans Ondaatje Rolls invites readers to dine with these enduringly fascinating individuals, taking us into the very center of their world through the meals around which they argued, debated, laughed and loved.
Part cookbook, part social and cultural history, this book tells the story of the Bloomsbury Group with nearly 300 recipes, many from previously unpublished material by members such as Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep, and David and Angelica Garnett, accompanied by paintings, photographs, quotations, letters, and personal reminiscences. Together they paint an intimate and astonishingly detailed portrait of the group, conjuring up the scents, colors, and textures of breakfasts at Monk’s House, lunches at Charleston, tea in Tidmarsh, evening parties at Gordon Square and dinners in the south of France. |
Beautifully illustrated (150 illustrations in color and black-and-white, including original artwork by Cressida Bell), this unique volume is both a source of inspiration for the modern chef and a unique celebration of life, love, and art at the heart of Bloomsbury.
Even Julia Child would smile. Then eat.