9780802120519

John Saturnall's Feast

Norfolk, Lawrence

ISBN 10: 0802120512 / 0-8021-2051-2
ISBN 13: 9780802120519
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
A beautiful, rich and sensuous historical novel, John Saturnall’s Feast tells the story of a young orphan who becomes a kitchen boy at a manor house, and rises through the ranks to become the greatest Cook of his generation. It is a story of food, star-crossed lovers, ancient myths and one boy’s rise from outcast to hero.

Orphaned when his mother dies of starvation, having been cast out of her village as a witch, John is taken in at the kitchens at Buckland Manor, where he quickly rises from kitchen-boy to Cook, and is known for his uniquely keen palate and natural cooking ability. However, he quickly gets on the wrong side of Lady Lucretia, the aristocratic daughter of the Lord of the Manor. In order to inherit the estate, Lucretia must wed, but her fiancé is an arrogant buffoon. When Lucretia takes on a vow of hunger until her father calls off her engagement to her insipid husband-to-be, it falls to John to try to cook her delicious foods that might tempt her to break her fast.

Reminiscent of Wolf Hall and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, John Saturnall’s Feast is a brilliant work and a delight for all the senses.

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Norfolk, Lawrence
ISBN 10: 0802120512
ISBN 13: 9780802120519
Bookseller: Book Deals (Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)
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Book Description: Grove Press, 2012. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: A beautiful, rich and sensuous historical novel, John Saturnall's Feast tells the story of a young orphan who becomes a kitchen boy at a manor house, and rises through the ranks to become the greatest Cook of his generation. It is a story of food, star-crossed lovers, ancient myths and one boy's rise from outcast to hero. It is the early 17th century, and John Saturnall is a young boy growing up in the village of Buckland. He is bullied by other children, who claim that his mother is a witch. When many of the children in the village are struck down with a sickness, John's mother is blamed, and he and she are chased out of the village. They go and live a hermit-like life in a nearby wood, where it is said a witch called Buccla once grew a legendary garden. Giving what little they find to eat to her son, John's mother dies of starvation, but sees to it that John be taken in at the Buckland Manor house, where he begins working in the kitchens. At the Manor, John quickly rises from kitchen-boy to Cook, and is known for his uniquely keen palate and natural cooking ability. However, he quickly gets on the wrong side of Lady Lucretia, the aristocratic daughter of the Lord of the Manor. In order to inherit the estate, Lucretia must wed, but her fiance is an arrogant buffoon whose face Lucretia thinks resembles a water-parsnip. When Lucretia takes on a vow of hunger until her father calls off her engagement to her insipid husband-to-be, it falls to John to try to cook her delicious foods that might tempt her to break her fast. As John serves meals to Lucretia, the pair forget their differences and become close, but fate is conspiring against them. Lucretia's betrothement cannot be undone, and soon the household is thrown into chaos as Cromwell's Roundheads go to war with the loyalist Cavaliers. Reminiscent of Wolf Hall , Gould's Book of Fish and The Debt to Pleasure , John Saturnall's Feast is a brilliant work from a writer at the top of his powers, and a delight for all the senses. -- A beautiful, rich and sensuous historical novel, JOHN SATURNALL'S FEAST tells the story of a young orphan who becomes a kitchen boy at a manor house, and rises through the ranks to become the greatest Cook of his generation. It's a story of food, forbidden love, ancient myths and one boy's rise from outcast to hero. The book's chapters are interspersed with richly evocative texts and recipes from The Book of John Saturnall, a (fictitious) collection of recipes penned by Saturnall towards the end of his life. These pieces are written in a rich, thick historical style and will be beautifully illustrated in our edition. As the book opens, John, who has grown up in the Vale of Buckland (in the South-West of modern-day England) is being taken to the Manor House to meet the head cook there, Richard SCOVELL. John was found in an area of the Vale known to the locals as "Buccla's Wood" and steeped in pagan legend. The legend goes that Buccla, a witch, ruled over the Vale in ancient times, growing an enormous garden. With food from the garden, Buccla held a great Feast, to which everyone - no matter their station in life - was invited. Locals say that this garden was the inspiration for Eden. As John travels to the Manor, he thinks about his childhood and the reader is told in flashback of how he and his mother were thrown out of the village following a spate of sickness for which she was blamed - she was thought to be a witch. John and his mother went to live a hermit's life in a small cottage in the middle of a forest - Buccla's Wood - where they survived by foraging for chestnuts, berries, and anything else they could find. But John's mother, saving food to feed her son rather than eating herself, starved, and John was powerless to help her. Their only consolation in this time of great privation was in the stories that John's mother told - stories about the ancient past of the Vale. Mean. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0802120512

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Norfolk, Lawrence
ISBN 10: 0802120512
ISBN 13: 9780802120519
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Book Description: Grove/BOMC. 1 Cloth(s), 2012. hard. Book Condition: New. Orphaned when his mother was cast out of her village as a witch in early 17th-century England, John Saturnall is taken in at the kitchens at Buckland Manor, in this sensuous, long-anticipated novel from the Somerset Maugham Award–winning author of Lemprière's Dictionary. The one thing John possesses is the knowledge of a mythical text about food, and he quickly rises from kitchen boy to Cook, celebrated for his singularly keen palate and preternatural cooking ability. When the king himself visits Buckland it is John Saturnall who cooks for him. And when Lady Lucretia, the lord's aristocratic daughter, takes a vow of hunger to protest her arranged marriage, it is John again who is given the task of tempting her to eat. But in their ensuing battle, something else begins to grow between the cook and the lady."Lawrence Norfolk, historical novelist extraordinaire, inhabits the 17th century through its food. From the reign of Charles I through civil war, Cromwell's protectorate and on to the restoration, we are treated to both lavish feasting and battlefield foraging, the politics of the high table and the hearthside use of medicinal herbs. Norfolk's ability to fold history in on itself, and to summon deep time, is as dazzling here as it was in his earlier novels: family genealogy becomes a myth of origins. The material is fascinating. Norfolk's imagination is bigger and more abstract than the individual; he conjures so well the bustling bureaucracy of the 17th-century manor house, its systems of rights and obligations, its geographical and social significance. The food writing is sensuous and exact . you put the book down wanting to make it all."—Guardian (London) 413. Bookseller Inventory # 42217

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