700 Years of English Cooking

Seven Hundred Years of English Cooking by Maxime McKendry, edited by Arabella Boxer  (Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press, 1973)

Introduced by Emma Balch at Tom Murrin’s £1 book stall, Hay-on-Wye


This book caught my eye today at Tom Murrin’s £1 book table at the weekly market in Hay.

“You’re not ‘avin’ it!”, snapped a fellow shopper.  A cheeky smile followed, and then, in defence, she added, “I am hoping it has some good medieval recipes. It’s mine! [clutching the book close to her chest] …but you can take a photo of it if you like.”


So I did. I had a flick through the book, and said I would write a blog post about it on A Book a Day in Hay.

I returned home and looked up the book online. It is out of print, and second-hand copies sell for around £7 online. I also found a connection to Hay! The author, Maxime McKendry, also wrote the Foreword to Richard Booth’s autobiography, My Kingdom of Books (under her name from her first marriage, Maxime de la Falaise). I happen to have that book on loan from Hay Library, so here’s a photo of the Foreword:




While I am disappointed I missed out on the £1 copy of Seven Hundred Years of English Food, I am glad to have found this connection to Hay. Oh and I do hope my market friend has used the book to cook up a warming potage on this chilly autumn evening.


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