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:
“In the period under consideration England was an overwhelmingly agricultural society. This work attempts to provide a guide to the communal celebrations of the labourers and farmers of the period, especially the activities, decorations and food. In identifying both customs are foods that continue and those that have been lost it by implication disposes of practices such as hot cross buns, pace egging and mummers plays which do not appear until more recent times.”
Staplebound pamphlet. 28 pages