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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.
The Food and Cookery in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England series presents a systematic survey of existing records of ingredients and equipment employed in the period. In addition to concise explanations of how such items might have been used and how they might have been significantly different from what is implied by current terminology, they include citations from various period and later records to demonstrate the geographic and class distribution of everything from hops to decorative tankards.
From the introduction to Drinking Vessels:
“Drinking vessels could be made from a wide variety of materials including wood, stoneware, earthenware, glass, leather, pewter, silver, and brass. Many of the styles could be made from a variety of materials, each imparting different properties to the product.
“The work uses the period terminology. Many objects have changed their names and words their meaning since the period. Do not assume that a mug or cup are anything like the modern meaning of the word. Unlike today many of the drinking vessels could have lids or covers and as so often at this period there was far greater diversity and individuality than in the modern world.”
Chapter headings include such categories as Chalices; Coconut Cups; Possets and Syllabub Pots, Bowls, and Cups; Mazers, Tuns; and Fuddling Cups.
Staplebound pamphlet. 60 pages. Sketches and black-and-white photos.