In response to the interview with Lisa Jardine (THES, November 1), I wish to point out that there is a thriving academic industry revolving around food, and in particular, culinary history, with specialist publications, periodicals and conferences.
There are certainly many people working in a field she believes underpopulated, albeit perhaps not so many fortunate enough to inhabit conventional academic environments. In connection with her English Renaissance concerns, she might find Banquetting Stuffe: the Fare and Social Background of the Tudor and Stuart Banquet, ed. C. Anne Wilson (1991) of interest. She might also like to read my own doctoral thesis, on food and material culture in early modern England, which in part looks at the connections between culinary practice and other types of practicable knowledge, when it is submitted.
S. Pennell Mary Bateson Research Fellow Newnham College Cambridge