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Feast: A History of Grand Eating.


46 valoraciones por Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0151007586 / ISBN 13: 9780151007585
Editorial: Harcourt,, Orlando:, 2003
Condición: Fine in Near Fine dust jacket Encuadernación de tapa dura
Librería: Grendel Books, ABAA/ILAB (West Chesterfield, MA, Estados Unidos de America)

Librería en AbeBooks desde: 1 de mayo de 1998

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First American printing. Fine in a very near fine, price clipped dust jacket. N° de ref. de la librería 54514

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Feast: A History of Grand Eating.

Editorial: Harcourt,, Orlando:

Año de publicación: 2003

Encuadernación: Hardcover

Condición del libro:Fine in Near Fine dust jacket

Condición de la sobrecubierta: Dust Jacket Included

Edición: 1st Edition

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Sharing a grand meal has always been a complex social event. Feasts have been used to celebrate significant occasions, to parade rank and hierarchy, and to flatter and influence people. There has always been a theatrical element to the feast as well-from the nude dancers who entertained dinner guests in ancient Greece to the restrained rigors of the Victorian dinner party.
Sir Roy Strong examines this cultural phenomenon with knowledge, wit, and style-beginning with the ninth century B.C., when a Babylonian emperor discreetly invited seventy thousand guests for a ten-day celebration, and ending early in the twentieth century, by which time feasts had become somewhat more modest. Always attuned to how these celebrations mirror the societies that hold them and to the way they reflect shifts in power and class, this beautifully illustrated book offers a lively and illuminating history of grand eating.


What occurs when we gather to dine? More than just eating, says Roy Strong, whose remarkable Feast: A History of Grand Eatingreviews sumptuous dining from ancient Greece to the present. What is discovered, again and again, is that "the meal, and everything connected with it has been, and still is, a vehicle for determining status and hierarchy--and also aspiration--no matter what pattern of society prevails." To illustrate, Strong takes readers on a journey that encompasses the banquets of ancient Rome, which, preceding their decadent excesses (Caligula liked dinner with decapitations), were models of civilized entertainment; to the Christian and Renaissance eras, a transformation of dining from symbolic ecclesiastical ritual to splendorous high-court ceremony; to a newly hierarchical world which, in counter-distinction to French Revolution commonalties, yielded the 19th and early 20th-century's defining status event, the dinner party; and finally to our own dispiriting time, in which the erosion of traditional forms has left us with TV-snacking, grazing, and the restaurant as surrogate rank-delineator, once society's task.

Strong is a master distiller who keeps a sharp academic lookout while proving a companionable, entertaining guide. It's hard to imagine anyone who could more pithily explore, for example, the evolution and meaning of manners (from courtly ritual to aspiring-class impediment); the invention of the dining room (which required a permanent dining table, long in coming); sugar's pivotal role (as a baroque sculptural medium!); and the history of cookbooks (keen mirrors of class). For anyone interested in what it has meant to use a fork (first a status marker then, supplanting the knife, the only approved implement for carrying food to mouth) among much else, this is a perfect read. --Arthur Boehm

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