Beyond the Figgy Pudding: Victorian Food and Dining in the World of Charles Dickens
It wouldn’t be Christmas for many without the images of the steaming holly-bedecked Christmas pudding and roast goose with sage and onion stuffing made famous in Charles Dickens’s immortal holiday tale. In fact, it was A Christmas Carol that arguably established a number of Christmas traditions we celebrate to this day, including caroling and turkey in addition to goose for the holiday dinner. But, food in the world of Dickens wasn’t always so merry, as many will remember in thinking of poor Oliver Twist and his bowl of gruel. In between, there were meals of marrow pudding, steak and kidney pie, cod with oyster sauce and a grand variety of cakes and pastries of which even Queen Victoria would approve. In this illustrated talk, writer and food historian, Carl Raymond will take us on a tour through highlights of Dickens’ stories, focusing on how he portrayed food and what is said about his most famous characters. Also, Carl will provide a general overview of Victorian food and dining, as well as some insights on how Dickens himself felt about what was on the table.
Thank you to our cultural co-sponsors: St. George’s Society of New York; Washington Decorative Arts Forum; American Friends of Attingham; The Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society