Historical rabbit holes, for those who are inclined.
These slender booklets from Historical Management Associates are the work of an organization dedicated to historical re-enactment in the UK. They are written with a stickler’s attention to historical precision and a conviction that nothing is too arcane to investigate. Some of the books are simple transcriptions of period manuscripts; others represent significant original research, as in Cattle Farming and Grazing Management, which is 52 pages long but cites 36 sources, many of them published in the 17th century.
From the introduction:
“This book has been designed for use by individuals and groups who wish to re-create Elizabethan food. The recipes selected require only easily obtainable ingredients and are acceptable to the modern palate whilst providing a taste of the past…
“The book draws on three main sources. The English Huswife by Gervase Markham, first published in 1613, 10 years after Elizabeth’s death… Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry by Thomas Tusser, 1580, a very useful work. And Civil War and Saltfish: The food of Soldiers and Civilians on the mid C17th, (Partizan Press, 1988) a study of the types of food available, its production, storage and preparation.”
Staplebound pamphlet. 34 pages.