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The Hungry Empire How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World

By: Lizzie Collingham(Author)
Publisher: Bodley Head
The Hungry Empire
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  • The Hungry Empire ISBN: 9781847922700 Hardback Aug 2017 Usually dispatched within 6 days
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About this book

The glamorous daughter of an African chief shares a pineapple with a slave trader… Surveyors in British Columbia eat tinned Australian rabbit… Diamond prospectors in Guyana prepare an iguana curry…

In twenty meals The Hungry Empire tells the story of how the British created a global network of commerce and trade in foodstuffs that moved people and plants from one continent to another, re-shaping landscapes and culinary tastes.

To be British was to eat the world.The Empire allowed Britain to harness the globe's edible resources from cod fish and salt beef to spices, tea and sugar. By the twentieth century the wheat to make the working man's loaf of bread was supplied by Canada and his Sunday leg of lamb had been fattened on New Zealand's grasslands.

Lizzie Collingham takes us on a wide-ranging culinary journey, charting the rise of sugar to its dominant position in our diets and locating the origins of the food industry in the imperial trade in provisions. Her innovative approach brings a fresh perspective to the making of the Empire, uncovering its decisive role in the shaping of the modern diet and revealing how virtually every meal we eat still contains a taste of empire.

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Biography

Lizzie Collingham taught History at Warwick University and was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge before becoming an independent historian. Her books include Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors and The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food. She is currently an Associate Fellow of Warwick University and the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge. She recently completed a project researching the history of the kitchens of the Indian President's palace and regularly lectures on a gastronomic tour of Kerala. She works in a garden shed near Cambridge.

By: Lizzie Collingham(Author)
Publisher: Bodley Head
Media reviews

"This is a wholly pleasing book, which offers a tasty side dish to anyone exploring the narrative history of the British Empire"
– Max Hastings, Sunday Times

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