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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 brief work is not intended to provide details of the bakers work at this period which has already been covered in The Book of Breads, The Book of Cakes and Biscuits, The Book of Pies and Kitchen Techniques and Equipment, but rather to look at the possessions and lifestyle of bakers primarily by using details of their possessions and homes from probate inventories.
“…The quality and detail of the inventories varies considerably, some lump possessions together such as all the clothing and assign it a rough value, others itemise articles and individually price them. Some list possessions room by room giving useful clues to the number of rooms and activities taking place in each.”
A staplebound pamphlet. 32 pages