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Book Title: Food in History|
The author of the book: Reay Tannahill
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Edition: The Folio Society
Date of issue: 2007
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 972 KB
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There was a time before grains were cultivated, before cooking pots and ovens were used, before even Homo erectus discovered that heat might make some foods more digestible. Yet there has never been a time when food was not firmly at the centre of human culture and existence, influencing world history and playing a key part in our very development as a species.
Packed with absorbing anecdotes and surprising insights, Food in History looks at our relationship with food and its far-reaching effects from as far back as the Neolithic era: how agricultural as opposed to hunter-gatherer societies changed the relationship between the sexes; how the spice trade made and toppled empires; why the cow became sacred in India; and how a new kind of plough helped to spark off the Crusades. Tannahill explores both the exotic tastes of our wealthy ancestors (peacock eggs and roast thrush), and the unvarying diets of the poorer mass of humanity (grain paste and bread). In times of famine, practically all communities, she claims, would resort to cannibalism, called variously ‘long pig’, ‘two-legged mutton’ and ‘tlacatlaolli’ (maize-and-man stew).
No less compelling are the observations that Food in History makes on how we eat today. What soon becomes clear is that there is nothing new in human experience. In the late Bronze Age, olive and vine cash crops led to devastating deforestation and the agricultural collapse of Greece, a reminder that the food we eat has always had an impact far beyond hearth and home.
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Read information about the authorReay Tannahill was born on December 9, 1929 in Glasgow, Scotland, where she brought up. Her forename was the maiden name of her mother, Olive Reay. She was educated at Shawlands Academy, and obtained an MA in History and a postgraduate certificate in Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. In 1958, she married Michael Edwardes but the marriage ended in divorce in 1983, he died in 1990. Until her death on November 2, 2007, she lived in a smart terrace house in London near Tate Britain.
Before started to write, she worked as a probation officer, advertising copywriter, newspaper reporter, historical researcher and graphic designer. She published her first non-fiction book in 1964. The international success came with the novel Food in History, her publisher suggested a companion volume on the second great human imperative, Sex in History. For her 2002 revised edition of 'Food in History, she won the Premio Letterario Internazionale Chianti Ruffino Antico Fattore. She also wrote historical romance novels, and in 1990, her novel Passing Glory won in 1990 the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association. She belonged to the Arts Club and the Authors' Club, and was chairman of the latter from 1997 to 2000.
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