Stock Image

Dinner for Dickens: The Culinary History of Mrs Charles Dickens' Menu Books

Rossi-Wilcox, Susan M.

ISBN 10: 1903018382 / ISBN 13: 9781903018385
Published by Prospect Books, 2005
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
From Books & Bygones (Reading, United Kingdom)

AbeBooks Seller Since May 27, 1999

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 41.62 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 13.51 From United Kingdom to U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

376 pages. Includes a transcript of What shall we have for Dinner by Lady Maria Clatterbuck. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 25642

Bibliographic Details

Title: Dinner for Dickens: The Culinary History of ...

Publisher: Prospect Books

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Catherine, the wife of Charles Dickens, was herself an author, but of just one book: What Shall we Have for Dinner? Satisfactorily Answered by Numerous Bills of Fare for from Two to Eighteen Persons. As the title indicates, it was a cookery book, in fact a pamphlet containing many suggested menus for meals of varying complexity together with a few recipes. It went through several editions after 1851, under the authorial pseudonym of Lady Maria Clutterbuck’ with a brief introduction that was, commentators aver, the work of Charles Dickens himself. In this book, Susan Rossi-Wilcox has investigated the life of Catherine Dickens, the domestic arrangements of the Dickens family, the composition of this menu-book and how the various changes in succeeding editions reflect both Catherine’s own development and the state of play in Victorian cookery, entertainment and food supply. At the same time, it contains a transcript of the menu-book itself and the appendix of recipes. It would not be sensible to claim the little book changed very much about Victorian cookery, but it serves as a potent marker of what was going on at the time, for example the modes of service, the sorts of dishes cooked, the domestic organisation necessary to maintain a reasonably well-off household. Catherine Dickens herself is a very interesting character and this book has much to offer people seeking to get behind the façade thrown up by Charles Dickens and his biographers (the couple separated in 1858 and Catherine suffered from much negative spin). Susan Rossi-Wilcox paints a sympathetic portrait of a capable and resourceful woman. Dinner for Dickens is fully referenced and illustrated with contemporary photographs, drawn largely from the collections of the Charles Dickens Museum in Doughty Street, London.

About the Author:

Susan M. Rossi-Wilcox is a Curatorial Associate of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University where she is Administrator for the Glass Flowers Collection.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

A member of ABE since 1983 we have over 13,000 books in stock - covering hundreds of subjects. We have over 4,500 cookery and food, which is our main interest. Our Websites are and

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Mail Order: We accept Debit/Credit Cards, Paypal. Cash if collecting in person.
REMEMBER TO : Include your address for delivery.
Contact Details:
Pamela Pither & John Lilly
Books & Bygones, 40 Hollow Lane, Shinfield, Reading, Berks RG2 9BT
Tel: 0118 988 4346

Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 1 business day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB/1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know if extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express