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:
“Recorded menus from this period tend to be those of the very great and good and for the most solemn and formal occasions: coronations and weddings of Kings and Dukes and enthronements or burials of the main Bishops. As such we must be very careful not to that other feasts followed such a pattern.
“The standard feast comprised three courses each composed of a number of dishes. In some case a separate menu is given for the less illustrious guests. One noticeable feature is that a number of dishes show up in a number of feasts.”
Staplebound pamphlet. 24 pages.