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OP: All the King's Cooks: The Tudors Kitchens of King Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace

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by Peter Brears

All the King’s Cooks (1999) is a learned exploration of the kitchens at Hampton Court Palace, particularly in the latter years of Henry VIII’s reign. The monumental task of maintaining—feeding, housing, worshiping, entertaining, and politicking—an institution at this scale required organization at the highest levels. 

Author Peter Brears, formerly Director of Museums in Leeds, is one of Britain’s foremost students of culinary history. His work is a model for looking at food in its fullest cultural context. Brears here reconstructs everything from the kitchens’ layout and architecture to their account books—including that of the privy kitchen, attending to the king directly—all of it evidence of the scope of the record keeping involved in the vast operation. 

Historical recipes are included, and if you’re thinking them unlikely to be reproducible, the color inserts of reenactors cooking and feasting at the palace will have you think again. But the scholarship really is the star here.

Our copy, a first printing, is clean and unmarked. The bottom edge is worn from long shelving and the jacket faded along the spine and frayed at the head, otherwise the book block and jacket are Nearly Fine. Engaging and illuminating.

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