HIST 840 Discussion Materials (Spring 2017 – Week 8)

Week 8: Eating and Manners


Reay Tannahill, Food in History, pp. 174-195 (Chap. 13: “The Medieval Table”)

Margaret Visser, The Rituals of Dinner, pp. 146-155, 167-196, 208-210, 284-295 (“Taking Note of Our Surroundings,” “Fingers,” “Chopsticks,” “Knives, Forks, Spoons,” discussion of hamburgers, plus notes on pp. 366-9, 373-4)


Kitchen and bakery from Stirling Castle, Scotland (late 15th or 16th century):

kitchen cauldrons
another view of kitchen, with table and fireplace
crowded workspace
some kitchen workers
bakers at work

St. Louis sends food to paupers’ table (French, from Life of St. Louis, 14th cent.)

from the Luttrell Psalter (England, c. 1325-35):

the cook
kitchen boys turning the spit
detail of servant
the Luttrells at table
detail of women eating

washing hands at table, from the ‘Vows of the Peacock’ (c. 1300-1325)

Depictions of food preparation, service, and eating:from the Maciejowski Bible (made in Paris for Louis IX, 1244 x 1254):

King David hosts a feast
detail: tableware
detail: panter slicing bread
detail: drinking cup
detail: carved table-end
what’s under the tablecloth?

The Duc du Berry at table, from Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry: January (1412-16):

Take a medieval food quiz here, and another medieval food quiz here

Fish knives and forks
Sir John Betjeman’s poem on “How to get on in Society” (1958, beginning: “Phone for the fish knives, Norman,” 1:35 min.):
with drawing: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48945812@N07/4705367405/sizes/l/in/photostream/
full text: http://everything2.com/title/How+To+Get+On+In+Society

“This, lads, is a fish knife” (New Statesman, 5 Feb. 2007):


Chinese dining etiquette (5:29 min.):

Modern Japanese table manners (5:03 min.):

Eating scene, from “Tom Jones” (3:31 min.):

“Are they difficult?” scene from “Gigi,” in which Aunt Alicia teaches Gigi to eat ortolans (film, 1958, with Leslie Caron in title role, 3:28 min.):

“My Fair Lady” (film, 1964, with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, 9:19 min.):
(Dialogue at Ascot: begin at 3:30 min.)

Emily Post, “Table Manners” (1947; 10:07 min.):

King of Queens, “Hungry Man” clip (1:13 min.):

“Food Ad Tricks” (from Buy Me That! produced by Consumer Reports© Television, 1989?, 2:59 min.)
A food stylist shows how to style a hamburger to look good on TV